Former Union minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who is on his third visit to Kashmir to explore the possibilities of peace and dialogue, has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement to win Kashmir with love has instilled fresh hope among the people of the valley.

Sinha said that PM Modi’s speech on 15 August, in which he said “goli and gaali” will not solve Kashmir but collective efforts to win them by love will, has been welcomed by all Kashmiris. From the separatists to former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to civil society, all expressed the hope that this time the statement would be followed by practical steps.

Yashwant Sinha said that his third visit was the continuation of his peace mission in Kashmir. 

He said that he had held wide ranging discussions with people from all backgrounds to explore the possibility of peace and conflict resolution.

On Friday, Yashwant Sinha, while talking to the media, said that the Union government should clear its stand on Article 35A as fears were running high in the valley that it might be abrogated. 

Sinha said that the time has come for the Central government to start the process of dialogue to heal people’s wounds. He said that the PM’s recent statement has indicated that dialogue would be a possibility.

The members of the group led by Yashwant Sinha included Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR), Sushobha Bharve; Air Vice Marshal (retd), Kapil Kak, and  senior journalist Bharat Bhushan.

The delegation first met National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah at their Srinagar residence. Sources privy to the meeting told this reporter that Farooq Abdullah told the delegation that the Central government was only talking on Kashmir but taking no practical steps to de-escalate tension. Farooq Abdullah told them that the present silence on the ground was because of state repression and things could explode in the future.

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