South Asia Times News Bulletin

Aug 22nd
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Home World India JK Governor appoints four member panel to end Jammu stalemate

JK Governor appoints four member panel to end Jammu stalemate

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  Governor N N Vohra has appointed a four- member committee to hold talks with Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS), spearheading the agitation in Jammu.

This will be yet another attempt to bring peace in Jammu and Kashmir marred by violence over Amarnath land transfer issue.

The announcement of the committee came minutes after the all-party meeting convened in the national capital by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ended where political parties made a joint appeal to agitators for suspending the agitation so that the dialogue process could begin.

The committee comprising former J&K Chief Secretary S S Bloeria, vice-chancellor of Jammu University Amitabh Mattoo, retired judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice G D Sharma and Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board B B Vyas would make a fresh approach to the agitating group for ending the stalemate that has affected normal life in Jammu region.

The Samiti had earlier spurned the offer of Governor for direct talks and visit to the camp site.

Reacting to the fresh offer, convener of SASS Leela Karan Sharma said that it would ascertain what would the new committee be offering to address to the sentiments of the people of Jammu region.

"We need to know the answer as to what was the problem in handing over the land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board," Sharma said.

All party meet appeals for dialogue to end Amarnath impasse

Faced with unrelenting month-long violence in J&K, an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed for a dialogue and creation of an atmosphere for suspension of agitation.

However, the government ruled out recall of Governor N N Vohra, a demand made by the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti spearheading the agitation in Jammu over the land row during the yatra that has seen escalation in violence.

Various suggestions including that an all party delegation should visit Jammu to assess the situation were made at the meeting, a second round of which may be convened by the Prime Minister.

"The all party meeting was of the unanimous view that an environment must be created where the agitation could be suspended and the issue resolved through the process of dialogue," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after a four-hour long meeting at the residence of the Prime Minister.

Leaders of all major political parties attended the meeting which suggested "immediately initiating the process of dialogue that would facilitate the suspension of the agitation and its peaceful resolution."

The meeting felt it was imperative that communalisation of the situation should be prevented at all costs as this would adversely impact on the secular fabric of the nation.

The meeting expressed deep concern over the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the leaders agreed that the situation was "serious" and that "immediate remedial action was called for".

"There was unanimity among all those present that the first step was the restoration of peace and normalcy and the all party meeting decided to make a joint appeal for the restoration of normalcy and early return of peace in the affected areas of J and K," the statement read out by Mukherjee said.

Government agreed that all the required necessary facilities for the Amarnath pilgrims would be provided.

Asked whether and when an all party delegation would visit Jammu, he said various suggestions including that some delegation should visit.

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