Ram Jethmalani led Kashmir peace effort in 2002

Ram Jethmalani led Kashmir peace effort in 2002

Former Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani at Parliament house. (PTI Photo)

Eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani had led a peace effort in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002 as the chairman of the Kashmir Committee constituted to reach out to separatists.

The committee held several rounds of talks with the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference despite opposition from the hardline factions. The two sides also came out with a five-point statement in Delhi.

Comprising civil society members, eminent jurists and journalists, the Committee's dialogue was followed by meetings between the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his deputy L K Advani and moderate separatists in early 2004.

Jethmalani had said he was interested in the future of Kashmir and desired to see the "issue was settled" but felt the exit of the BJP-led NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the 2004 elections was a big setback to such moves.

The Kashmir Committee gradually went into oblivion though there were some scattered meetings by Jethmalani with separatist leaders.

In subsequent years, he mentioned in many pieces about the endeavours of the Committee and how it was important to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"It is my desire to see Kashmir issue should get resolved. It is such a beautiful nation, the violence should end and love should rule here. We should forget the petty things and love should rule," he had said in 2014.

He had said there were some "disgruntled voices" in Kashmir, which needed to be addressed and people should sit down and resolve their differences amicably. 

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