MIRPUR (AJK)-Indian bigwigs have showed concerns over the escalation of violence in Jammu & Kashmir which is internationally-acknowledged as a disputed state.

They include Yashwant Sinha, former external affairs and finance minister; Rajmohan Gandhi, an author; AP Shah, former chief justice of Delhi High Court; Wajahat Habibullah, former chairman of National Commission for Minorities; Vappala Balachandran, former special secretary, cabinet secretariat of Govt. of India; Kapil Kak, air-vice marshal (Retd); KC Singh, former secretary at Ministry of External Affairs; Bharat Bhushan, a journalist; and Sushobha Barve, executive secretary at Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.

They issued a joint statement which says, “We note with deep anguish the recent escalation in violence in Kashmir. This has led to avoidable loss of civilian lives as well as that of security force personnel. What is worse is that the violence shows no signs of abating. In fact, it is being stoked further by unrestrained public statements by various actors and the talk of revenge. It is also evident that despite being aware of the futility of picking up arms, an increasing number of desperate youngsters are joining the ranks of militants.”

“At this critical juncture, when an entire generation of young Kashmiris finds itself at a cross-roads, we would like to urge everyone concerned to step back from the conflict. While picking up arms by the militants is bound to attract the use of force against them by the State, intensifying the confrontation can only worsen the situation. The solution to the present crisis in J&K lies in dialogue at the appropriate political level. Only by winning the hearts and minds of the people can their faith in the political process be restored,” the statement concluded.

Likewise, Jammu Kashmir National Front Vice Chairman Altaf Hussain Wani described the continuous killing spree in nook and corner of occupied Kashmir as unacceptable.

He said that since firing bullets on protesters has become order of the day, New Delhi and its agents must keep in mind that such imperialistic tactics will only damage India which cannot deter the people of Kashmir from demanding their political rights.

Talking to newsmen during his brief visit, the Kashmiri leader said that the Kashmiri people are facing Indian atrocities on one hand and on the other the continuous silence of international community is hurting their minds and souls. But fact on ground is that Kashmiris will never give up their just movement unless and until their demands are addressed.

He paid rich tributes to Sharjeel Ahmad, Bilal Ahmad, Ajaz Ahmad and Fazil Ahmad who were killed by the men in uniform at Khudwani. “National Front expresses full solidarity with the bereaved families,” Wani said. He also vehemently condemned the use of brute force on students in Baramullah Town in the occupied valley.