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Moderate Hurriyat faction to discuss Kashmir package on Monday

Last Updated: Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 22:37

Srinagar/New Delhi: The moderate faction of
Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq will meet
tomorrow to respond to Centre`s latest Kashmir initiative even
as a senior minister said the package was not meant for
separatists but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have convened a meeting of the Executive and
General council tomorrow wherein the announcement made by the
Government of India will be discussed threadbare before a
formal response is made to it," Hurriyat chairman Farooq told

However, sources close to Mirwaiz said the amalgam
was not too excited about the 8-point formula announced by
Home Minister P Chidambaram yesterday for normalising the
situation in Kashmir Valley, saying "it was another case of
taking half steps".

The sources said the official response of the moderate
faction is likely to be a `guarded one`.

In New Delhi, Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj
Chavan said the package was not meant for the separatists but
for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and hoped that a positive
reaction would emerge soon.

Chavan`s comments to reporters came when he was asked
about Hurriyat Conference hardline faction headed by Syed Ali
Shah Geelani terming the Kashmir package as an "eyewash" and
"delaying tactics".

The minister said,"It is a package not for the
separatists but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I am sure
when the package unfolds, the intention of the government to
sooth the frayed tempers comes to the fore, there will be a
positive reaction," the minister said.

Noting that there had been positive reaction from some
quarters, he said that he did not expect the "separatists to
offer any positive reaction as they have a different agenda.

"But we are willing to talk to anyone who wants to find a
solution... political leaders, social leaders, NGOs, even
people with different ideology... we are willing to talk to
them," Chavan said.

Under a major 8-point initiative to address the unrest in
the Kashmir Valley, a group of interlocutors is being
appointed to hold a "sustained dialogue" with various shades
of opinion, about 200 youth detained for stone-pelting are
being released and the presence of security personnel is being

Significantly, the notification of areas as "disturbed"
will be reviewed which could pave the way for non-application
of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)
to certain parts which will cease to be treated as disturbed.

Keen to prepare a job plan for J-K, Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh reviewed the work of the Expert Group set up by
him for the task and directed them to ensure that the
opportunities generated were sustainable.


First Published: Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 22:37
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