New Delhi: Asserting that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is sliding into 'total chaos', former home minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday that the statements by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar have only worsened the situation and called on the Congress and the National Conference (NC) to come up with a solution.
In a statement released today, Chidambaram expressed concern over the current state in the Valley saying that the situation is sliding into 'total chaos', adding that the People's Democratic Party (PDP)- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is squarely responsible for the sharp deterioration in the last 6 weeks.
"The statements of the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister have exacerbated the crisis. Moderation in words and actions alone can retrieve the situation. The loss of lives -- of protesting youth, other civilians and security forces -- has devastated all of us. This must stop," Chidambaram said.
Stating that he was afraid that the present government would be unable to find a way out of the crisis, he called on the Congress, National Conference and 'if willing' the PDP to come together and find a solution.
"Firstly, an immediate solution to stop the violence and, then, a path forward that will bring hope, peace and prosperity to the people of Jammu & Kashmir," Chidambaram said.
Yesterday, Parrikar described Pakistan as "hell" and echoed Prime Minister Modi's sentiments at the Independence Day speech by demanding that Pakistan stop violating human rights in its Balochistan province and that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is a part of Indian territory.
Earlier, Pakistan formally invited India for dialogue over the Kashmir issue in a letter handed over to the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad on Monday, which New Delhi has emphatically rejected.
The move came days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, announced Pakistan's willingness to invite India for talks on Kashmir in the wake of unrest in the valley.
Aziz had made this announcement last week at a news conference in Islamabad, saying, "Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry would soon write a letter to his Indian counterpart for dialogue on Kashmir."
Pakistan also branded Prime Minister Modi's Independence Day speech as an attempt to divert world attention from the growing unrest in Kashmir.
"Modi was trying to divert world attention from the grim tragedy. Thousands of unarmed (Kashmiri) youth are protesting every day for their right to self-determination," Sartaj Aziz said.
Meanwhile, five persons were killed and 18 were injured yesterday in fresh clashes in the Valley where the death toll so far has risen to 65.
The Valley has been embroiled in violence since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.