The Congress on Wednesday formed a policy-planning group following concerns over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The nine-member group will be led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and will include senior party leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni and Karan Singh, among others, PTI reported.
“Congress President Sonia Gandhi has constituted a policy-planning group for Jammu and Kashmir under the chairmanship of Dr Manmohan Singh,” Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a statement.
The move comes after a delegation of Congress and National Conference party leaders met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday. The delegation, led by Kashmir Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, also proposed visiting the state and speaking with the people of the Valley. Gandhi approved the idea.
The delegation met President Pranab Mukherjee, as well. At the Rashtrapati Bhavan, they raised their concerns over the “brutalities inflicted” on the Kashmiri youth and urged him to direct the Centre to hold talks with all stakeholders in the matter to end the crisis in the Valley, Greater Kashmir reported.
“It is an effort by the Congress party to suggest constructive measures to resolve issues,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Monga told Greater Kashmir.
The turmoil in Kashmir was triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8 last year. His death set off clashes between local residents and security personnel, in which at least 100 people have died. The unrest in the state has also led to much debate over the use of pellet-shooting pump action guns by security forces and stone pelting by protesters in Kashmir.