A high-level panel of All India Congress Committee (AICC) led by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh arrived in Kashmir today to hold meetings with political parties, civil society members and tour and trade bodies.
The Congress’ Policy and Planning Group led by Manmohan will stay in Valley for two days. The panel is meeting 45 delegations, senior Congress leaders said, but there is no plan to meet any of pro-freedom groups nor have the latter sought any meeting. Immediately after their arrival, the panel held an executive committee meeting of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee at Hari Niwas here.
A Congress party spokesman said that panel will interact with civil society organisations, Shia associations, delegation of 2014 flood victims, saffron growers, house boat associations, trade and tourism delegations as well as a delegation of journalists. During today’s stay, the Congress panel held series of meetings including with political parties.
Earlier speaking to reporters, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and top Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Centre should talk to all stakeholders for resolution of issues. He regretted that the Government is refraining from naming the stakeholders. “Everyone knows who the stakeholders are but they are afraid to take the names. The Central as well as the state government knows who the stakeholders are and they should talk to them and try to resolve the issue,” he said.
Azad, who is also former J&K Chief Minister, said ever since BJP came into power, the situation of Kashmir deteriorated. He said during his tenure as CM in 2007, the south Kashmir was declared militancy free but today whole of the Valley is boiling. Azad refused to divulge Congress stand on Article 35-A, saying they have come to listen to peoples’ views here. (GNS)