Rebuffed by its own ally, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) over demand of unilateral ceasefire in J&K, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is now appealing arch rival National Conference to join an All-Party delegation for meeting with Prime Minister and urge him to initiate a dialogue.
“We (in the government) do meet Prime Minister. But if the main opposition isn’t part of the delegation then I don’t know whether it (the meeting with Prime Minister) will materialise,” said government spokesman and public works minister, Naeem Akhtar.
Their joining is crucial.”
Following the All-Party meeting here on May 9, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said it was suggested that an all-party delegation should meet the Prime Minister to express concern over volatile situation in Kashmir and discuss how to reach out to restive youth of the region.
So far the National Conference, largest opposition party, hasn’t responded to the proposal.
Ali Muhammad Sagar, NC’s general secretary said the party leadership would take a call on the proposal by Tuesday.
Off late the party has mounted sharp attacks on the government over the fast deteriorating conditions in Kashmir.
On May 7, two days before Mufti chaired the All-Party meeting, Omar Abdullah demanded imposition of Governor’s rule in J&K, asking the chief minister to accept her failure and step down. He made the statement while travelling in Ladakh.
Mufti’s PDP has appeared frustrated and helpless over rising civilian fatalities in government forces’ action during gunfights with militants.
Since the beginning of this month at least eight civilians have been killed by government forces, six of on them on May 8 in restive Shopian alone, during gunfight with rebels. These killings have pushed the PDP-led government and other mainstream parties on the back foot.
In this backdrop Mufti was embarrassed by her ally, the BJP, when the saffron party opposed a supposed consensus by all other parties at the All-Party meet for urging New Delhi to announce a unilateral ceasefire in the state during Ramadan and the upcoming Amarnath pilgrimage.