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With the Valley in turmoil and tension mounting on the Line of Control after a Pakistan Army border action team killed and mutilated the bodies of two Indian soldiers, J&K Governor N N Vohra met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday and urged New Delhi to consider initiating a dialogue process with the state’s mainstream political parties led by the National Conference and Congress which could later include the state BJP as well. The Indian Express has learnt that the Centre has been told that a decision on extending the dialogue process to possibly include separatist leaders, including those of the All Party Hurriyat Conference, could be taken at a later stage after the views of mainstream political parties, who have a historic stake in the state, have been shared with the government.
Although Governor’s rule has been imposed thrice during his two terms, Vohra is said to have conveyed that imposing it again without initiating any political dialogue would serve no purpose, given the situation in the Valley. The consultations with the 80-year Governor on how best to stem the violence and unrest came at a time when there is a sharp escalation in tensions on the LoC following the Pakistani attack, thereby shifting the attention towards options for a suitable Indian response. Besides the Home Minister, the Governor also held consultations with the heads of intelligence agencies, including Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain and Research and Analysis Wing chief Anil Dhasmana. A meeting between the Governor and Army chief General Bipin Rawat may also be scheduled.
Vohra has been in New Delhi for the past two days and is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Officials said the Governor’s meeting with the Home Minister was scheduled last week and was not linked to the LoC incident. They were said to have discussed issues like infiltration from across the border, activities of separatists and street protests by students, sources said. The rise in number of youths joining militancy also figured in the discussion. An intelligence official said there was agreement that dialogue would help shift the focus from the current youth unrest and that this has been pending since Rajnath Singh led an all-party delegation to Srinagar in September last year.