Srinagar: Opposition People`s Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday asked the Centre to take steps including release of political prisoners and withdrawal of cases against those arrested during last year`s summer unrest to create an atmosphere of reconciliation in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Since Home Minister (P Chidambaram) is closely monitoring the situation here, he should take steps to release the persons arrested last year and withdraw cases against the 5,000 youth who took part in last year`s protests," PDP President Mehbooba Mufti told reporters after a meeting of the party`s executive.
She said these steps can be a starting point for creating an atmosphere of reconciliation in the state with the aim of finding a solution to the problem.
"Those who were booked last year were not militants with guns. They were just protesting under their democratic rights," she said.
Referring to the calm in the Valley this summer, Mehbooba said it was the lull before the storm if the present policies of the state government continued.
She also said her party welcomes the latest round of talks between New Delhi and Islamabad and hopes that they would substantially address the Kashmir issue.