PM asks parties not to disturb peace in Jammu and Kashmir

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NEW DELHI - With the BJP’s youth wing planning to hoist the national flag in Srinagar on Republic Day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday asked all political parties to refrain from “promoting divisive agendas” and stressed that peace should not be disturbed in the “sensitive” Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is not an occasion to score political points, to embarrass the state and local administrations, to create situations that could lead to entirely avoidable problems, or to promote divisive agendas,” Manmohan Singh said while stressing that Republic Day is “a solemn occasion”.

“It is my hope that all our citizens and political parties will heed this call and will do nothing that will disturb peace and harmony, or detract in any way from the dignity of Republic Day,” the prime minister said in a statement.

It was “all the more important to observe maximum restraint particularly in a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir,” Manmohan Singh said. It was a veiled reference to to ‘Ekta Yatra’ planned by the BJP’s youth wing to proceed to Srinagar to hoist the national tricolour at the historic Lal Chowk.

Unfazed by pleas by the Jammu and Kashmir government, which has made it clear that it will not allow hoisting of the national flag by BJP on that day, the party is going ahead with the plan.

Stressing the significance and solemnity of the occasion, the prime minister said: “It is up to the states to ensure that public traditions are honoured and they would be well within their rights to insist upon punctilious adherence.”.

“It is a day that joins all Indians in a shared celebration of modern nationhood,” he said.

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