19 June, 2021

Salve Search For Wounds

Pointed criticism apart, the Congress senses support to its top panel on Kashmir. Political benefit too?

Manmohan Singh, with party leaders, at Hari Niwas, Srinagar
Photograph by PTI
Salve Search For Wounds

There is bright sunshine, as a delegation led by former prime minister Manmohan Singh int­eracts with members of the civil society. The location is by the sprawling Dal lake, on the lawns of the imposing Hari Niwas that had functioned as the infamous ‘torture centre’ in the 1990s soon after the outbreak of militancy in the Valley. Today, the palace outside which the Congress leaders are seated is a VIP state guesthouse on a manicured 5.6-acre plot.

The ex-PM heads a Jammu and Kash­mir Policy Planning Group, whose mem­bers are listening intently to varied requests, suggestions and observations by people from different walks of life. The varied backgrounds of the crowd have pleased the visiting team. Congress lea­ders like G.M. Saroori, G.N Monga and party state president G.A. Mir believe it signifies a huge transformation in the people’s trust in the Congress. “In my entire political career,” says Mir, “I have never seen such diverse sections meeting any political group from Delhi.”

The Manmohan-led panel,...

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