New Delhi: An all-party delegation from Jammu and Kashmir led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah will meet President Pranab Mukherjee this afternoon to apprise him about the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley.
"I feel sad that what we wanted to hear from our political leadership is unfortunately coming from Army leadership. Northern Commander today thinks that there should be talks with all people who have a different mindset. So the question is, why our political leaders could not do this," Mr Abdullah said after the meeting.
As the unrest continued in Kashmir, the army on Friday appealed for calm, saying "everyone needs to step back" and sit together to find a way out of the current situation.
Asking everyone involved to look at ways to de-escalate the situation rather than provoking it further, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda said while security forces have been directed to exercise maximum restraint, the other side also needs to see that security forces, police stations and bases of security forces are not attacked. The opposition delegation that submitted a memorandum to the President, today strongly criticised the centre and the state government for their handling of the spiralling violence.
"Jammu and Kashmir is a political problem. It cannot be handled administratively. It cannot be handled by creating humanitarian crisis," Omar Abdullah said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke about the Kashmir situation at a rally in Uttar Pradesh. "We want to see pens and computers in the hands of Kashmiri youth and not stones and guns," he said.
More than 65 people have been killed and over 5,000 injured in clashes among protesters and security forces since the killing of Burhan Wani, a terrorist with a large following, in Jammu and Kashmir last month.