Interlocutors Exploring JK Solution: Manmohan10 September 2011
New Delhi: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh Saturday said the interlocutors are exploring ways to find political solution to the problems in Jammu and Kashmir. “Our interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East are exploring ways of finding political solutions and creating a more durable peace for a stronger India, ”Prime Minister said at the 15th National Integration Council meeting here today. He said the tripartite agreement for setting up the Gorkhaland Territorial Authority and several Suspension of Operations agreements in the North-East have helped bring peace and bridge the divide in perceptions. “Our democracy has struck deeper roots in the recent years with the strengthening of local governance institutions and a more informed and active citizenry. The people of Jammu and Kashmir turned out in large numbers for the Panchayat elections held this year, including in areas that have experienced militancy,” he said. Referring to civil disturbances, which is one of the agenda items of the NIC meeting, Singh said one should keep in mind that excessive use of force often proves counter-productive. “We need to distinguish between criminal activities and misguided discontent that finds unlawful expression. It is with this intent that the Home Ministry has circulated instructions for dealing with crowds in a non-lethal manner,” he said. He urged the chief ministers to ensure that these are made operational by appropriately equipping and training the police forces. The NIC meet, happening after three years, discussed measures to promote communal harmony, eliminate discrimination, especially against minorities and Scheduled Tribes, and ways in which the state and police should handle civil disturbances. Terming terrorism and Maoist violence as two major challenges facing the country, Dr Singh said the Delhi High Court blast was a stark reminder that there can be no let up in the vigil. Singh said everyone must unequivocally send out a message that pursuit of violence cannot be justified under any circumstances and reaffirm the collective resolve to fight the menace of terrorism in all its forms with available means. “The problems of terrorism and Left-wing extremism constitute two major challenges that our society and polity face today. The terrorist attack in Delhi last Wednesday is a stark reminder to us that there can be no let up in our vigilance,” he said. The meeting was attended by senior Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, leaders of Opposition in Parliament, leaders of national and regional political parties among others. “Time and again our nation has been subjected to terrorist violence. Terrorist seek to justify such violence based on misplaced sense of ideology,” he noted. The Prime Minister said no civilised society can tolerate or endorse loss of innocent lives in the pursuit of any ideology and institutions and instruments of the country’s democratic polity allow sufficient opportunity for articulating differing view without resorting to violence. Singh stressed on the need to identify and address the causes of radicalisation of some of the country’s youth. “Very clearly, lack of productive employment opportunities for our young men and women is one factor which aids such radicalisation. Education and skill development opportunities have a major role to play in addressing this problem,” he said. The Prime Minister said the problem of Naxalism has a development dimension also and the Centre is making special efforts for development of backward areas, many of which are affected by Left-wing extremism. USE OF VIOLENCE AS INSTRUMENT OF PROTEST BIG CHALLENGE: PC Speaking on the occasion, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the use of violence as an instrument of protest was the biggest challenge before the country. While the old evils such as communalism, casteism and parochialism remain, there are new challenges as well, he said. “The biggest challenge is the use of violence as an instrument of protest or an instrument of change. Insurgency, militancy and terrorism threaten to unravel the idea of India,” he said. The Home Minister said it was natural to focus on violent attacks of militant groups but attention must be given to the violence unleashed by ideologically-driven Left wing extremists and recalcitrant separatist groups in northeastern states.