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NDA govt reversed Kashmir initiatives taken by UPA: Congress

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Top leaders today said the initiatives taken in Kashmir during the UPA's 10 year-rule have been reversed, as they discussed the prevailing situation in the valley at a key meeting chaired by former prime minister Manmohan Singh. The party leadership also felt that there is a sense of alienation at all levels in the state that requires the urgent attention of the The views were expressed by members of the policy planning group constituted by party chief Sonia Gandhi, at its first meeting held at the residence of Singh who chairs the group. Barring former home minister P Chidambaram, eight of the nine members of the key strategy group attended the meeting and expressed their views frankly. The meeting assumes significance in view of the prolonged unrest in the Kashmir Valley, since the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter last July. Sources said all the members were concerned over the "reversal" of the key initiatives and work done during the 10 years of the Congress-led when they claimed, peace had returned to the state and its people were assimilating across the country. Senior member of the committee Ambika Soni said all the members expressed their views "freely and frankly" over the situation in Kashmir. "The leaders expressed deep concern over the situation in the valley," she said after the meeting. All the leaders said that the various initiatives taken by the and leadership have been "reversed" and washed away and the situation in the state has turned "serious". Former J&K chief minister and senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also expressed serious concern over the prevailing situation in the state and the increased sense of alienation there. "The leaders expressed their views openly and expressed serious concern over the present situation in Kashmir which is disturbing.

The initiatives and work done during the 10 years of have been reversed. There is a sense of alienation at all levels," J&K president Ghulam Ahmed Mir told PTI. Asked whether the issue of funding of separatists from across the border was also discussed, he denied so. However, sources said all issues and recent incidents were discussed during the meeting, including the killing of 22-year-old Army officer Lt Umer Fayaz by terrorists in the valley when he was on leave to attend a family wedding. Sources said there will be another meeting of the group soon that will keenly watch the developments and action by the state and central governments. The has been critical of the Modi and the PDP-BJP coalition in over the handling of the situation in the state, which it said is "deteriorating" with each passing day. Concerned over the "disturbed" situation in the valley, President had on April 19 formulated a policy-planning group for to take forward the peace initiative in the state. Others who attended today's meet include CWC member Karan Singh, CLP leader in the state Rigzin Zora, former MP Tariq Hameed Karra and party vice president Shyam Lal Sharma. Sources said the group will study and assess the ground situation and take initiatives for restoring normalcy to the volatile state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 20 2017. 20:07 IST