Article 370: Govt reaches out to Mehbooba, Abdullah to create some political dialogue
New Delhi, Aug 24: In a bid to open some space for political dialogue, the Centre has reached out to former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.
Both leaders have been under preventive detention since August 4, one day before the government decided to abrogate Article 370. The attempt to reach out to them is to create some space for a political dialogue.
The Valley has been under a lockdown and attempts are being made to ease out restrictions in a phased manner. Some officials from the security mechanism are in touch with the two leaders to understand and assess the future course of action.
However, the officials are treading with caution on this move. They want the two leaders to come out and spread the right message to the people. However, there is also a risk that the two could fan sentiments and worsen the situation.
It would not be a knee jerk reaction, a source tells OneIndia. We want to tread cautiously and only then take a call on whether they can be released from house arrest. The government wants to conduct elections in the state and this would be possible once normalcy is restored fully. The government is keen on making the elections a success.
So far, no political leader from outside the Union Territory has been allowed. Even as the Opposition leaders have planned a visit to J&K, the administration has advised them against doing so. Recently, Ghulam Nabi Azad was prevented from visiting J&K.
The Department of Information and Public Relations says that the visit will violate the restrictions, that are in force in many areas. These leaders must understand that priority must be to maintain peace and restore normalcy in J&K.
"At a time when the government is trying to protect the people of Jammu and Kashmir from threat of cross border terrorism and attacks by militants and mischief mongers, attempts should not be made by senior political leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life. Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience," the tweet by the department states.