PM should use hotline facility to talk to Sharif on Kashmir: CPI-M

PM should use hotline facility to talk to Sharif on Kashmir: CPI-M

New Delhi: The CPI-M today demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi use the hotline facility to talk to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the Kashmir issue even as it pressed for opening of a political dialogue with the stakeholders.

At an all-party meeting on the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley, CPI-M also asked the government to take a series of confidence-building measures including stopping the use of pellet guns to quell the ongoing unrest there.

“There was virtual unanimity on the suggestion that a political dialogue should be started immediately with all stakeholders in the state to restore normalcy,” party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said after the meeting.

Along with the political dialogue, the government should announce confidence-building measures like stoppage of use of pellet guns on protestors and withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from civilian areas where the armed forces are not required, he told PTI.

The army can be deployed in areas prone to infiltration, he said.

During the meeting, Yechury asked Modi to use the hotline to talk to Sharif on the Kashmir issue.

He said this channel of communication should not be stopped.

Another measure to win the confidence of the Kashmiri people would be that the Union Home Ministry issues a directive to all states to take stringent action against anyone harassing or indulging in violence against Kashmiri youths studying or working there, Yechury said.

He also wanted the Centre to pay compensation to those killed in the violence and pick up the tab for entire medical expenses of those injured, including those admitted at the AIIMS here.

Referring to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement during the meeting that Pakistan has raised the issue in UNHRC, he said, “We think the government must refer cases of human rights violations in Kashmir to the National Human Rights Commission” to counter such attempts.

“We have always maintained that Kashmir dispute is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and should be resolved by them. There is no question of third-party interference in it,” Yechury said.