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Sinha-led group calls for dialogue

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 18: The ‘concerned citizens’, led by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, today called for an early dialogue with all the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir to put an end to the bloodshed in the Valley.
“The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a political issue and demands a political solution. This can be achieved only through dialogue with all the stakeholders,” the group said in a statement issued here.
In the aftermath of the summer agitation and clashes between mobs and security forces last year, which left 85 people dead and thousands injured, a ‘concerned citizens’ team, led by former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, visited the Valley twice on a fact-finding mission.
The team has recommended a “multi-dimensional dialogue” which includes talks with the Hurriyat, besides urging the Government to improve the human rights situation in the State.
The visits of the team were facilitated by the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, a Delhi-based group working in Kashmir for more than a decade.
The statement said, “We are deeply concerned at the deteriorating situation in the Kashmir valley. The loss of lives in the recent incidents was unnecessary and avoidable.”
It mentioned that it was the “realisation of this necessity” that persuaded the political parties (PDP and BJP) in the present alliance Government in the state to accept this (dialogue) as the way forward in their agenda of governance.
At the same time, the statement added, “We are dismayed at the complete disregard of this assurance and at the reluctance of those in authority to engage in a dialogue. The present bloodshed must come to an end and dialogue alone will achieve this.”
It urged the Centre to initiate a dialogue involving all the stakeholders in the State.
“We, therefore, call upon the Government of India to immediately begin the process of dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir by involving all the stakeholders,” the statement read.

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