The ruling People’s Democratic Party Monday called for the resumption of a ‘peace and reconciliation process’ between India and Pakistan, drawing the ire of its coalition partner BJP whose legislator Ravinder Raina said the Indian Air Force should bomb “terrorist training camps in Pakistan”.
The issue of “ceasefire violations” by Pakistan rocked the state Assembly as opposition National Conference (NC) supported the Mehbooba Mufti government’s stance on peace talks and a strict implementation of the 2003 ceasefire agreed between the two countries. The BJP legislators, however, demanded that the Assembly pass a resolution to condemn the continuous Pakistani shelling, news agency PTI reported.
The issue of unabated ceasefire violations also led to a 10-minute adjournment during the Zero Hour.
When the House met again, the state’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri made a statement supporting a dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad to restore everlasting peace in the region.
“This issue was raised in this house before as well. Our stand is that peace and reconciliation is the only way, dialogue is the only way,” Veeri said.
He said the process initiated by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vaypayee should be taken forward for everlasting peace.
Four Army personnel, including a captain, were killed and four others, including two teenagers, injured in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts on Sunday.
Ruling PDP MLA Javaid Beig said that instead of provoking Pakistan, the House should appeal to both the countries to start a dialogue to resolve outstanding issues. Beig’s comments were protested by BJP members.
“We support the statement of Veeri and the young Beig who is right in his approach. On our side, we should not do anything that will lead to further deterioration of the situation,” NC legislature party leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said.
He rued that it had become a habit for politicians to worsen the atmosphere through their statements.
“In my opinion, if a resolution is passed in this house, it should be that the people of Jammu and Kashmir demand both the governments to initiate the dialogue process so that peace is restored along the borders,” he said.
Abdullah demanded strict implementation of the 2003 ceasefire agreed upon by India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB).
The NC leader said that the Vajpayee government in consultation with Pakistan gave a ceasefire agreement which needs to be restored.
However, BJP MLA Ravinder Raina, who demanded a resolution to condemn Pakistan for ceasefire violations, later told reporters that Pakistan had targeted an Army post after the Army thwarted its attempt to push militants in the state.
“We want the terrorist training camps in Pakistan be bombarded by Indian Air Force. Pakistan is a terror country and it cannot understand the language of diplomacy and democracy,” he said.
NC’s Devender Rana, while speaking to reporters, saluted the “sacrifices” of the Army and accused BJP of playing politics over the “dead bodies of the jawans”.
We raised the issue of continuous firing and shelling along LoC and IB wherein our soldiers are getting martyred every day and the civilian population is facing the brunt of the escalation of tension, Rana said.
“Who is answerable to the families of soldiers who are on a daily basis getting martyred in the defence of the nation. The civilian population is under constant fear. It is our duty to create an atmosphere so that peace returns to the LoC and IB,” he said.