Reactions from the Valley

"Centre’s decision is a positive development," Omar said.

Zeenews Bureau

Srinagar: Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah welcomed Chidambaram`s 8-point plan and said “Centre’s decision is a positive development and must lead to a resolution to all political issues of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Following the plan Omar announced to re-open all schools and colleges in the Valley on Monday.
“The interlocutors will lead to the political solution of the J&K also CCS decision will resolve the political issues of J&K”, Omar Abdullah added.

PDP says, a good beginning

Opposition People`s Democratic Party (PDP) described as a good beginning the steps announced by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to be taken in strife-torn Kashmir valley but said more needs to be done to regain the trust of people.

"It is definitely a good beginning but more needs to be
done to regain the trust of the people," PDP chief
spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar said.

He said the steps announced by Chidambaram should
lead to more confidence building steps, which would result in
the revival of the 2003 peace process.

"The people should feel the relief after these measures
and their sufferings in terms of daily curfew, crackdowns,
arrests and harassment should come to an end," he said.

Hardline Hurriyat calls it an `eyewash`

Chairman of the hardline faction Syed Ali Shah Geelani said the package of measures did not met the demands raised by him for starting a dialogue process for resolving the Kashmir

Describing the steps as a mere "eye wash", the Hurriyat hawk reiterated his demand for withdrawal of troops from the state and release of political prisoners.

On the other hand, the moderate Hurriyat, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chief Mohammad Yaseen Malik maintained a studied silence over the steps unveiled by the

Malik said he would convene a meeting of the Working Committee and the Executive Council of his outfit to discuss the new development.

Congress, CPI(M) hails Centre`s package; BJP not happy

"BJP is of the opinion that instead of reaching out to the separatists, the Government of India must reach out to the average citizens of the Valley and prevent their harassment," the party said.

Congress, on the other hand, said the formula was holistic and a well-thought out package and hoped it will be reciprocated by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"It is very holistic and well thought out package. We
hope this will be reciprocated and responded to by the people
of Jammu and Kashmir," party spokesman Manish Tewari told
reporters here.

The CPI(M) welcomed the government`s initiative and
wanted the Unified Command in the state to positively consider
a review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

"It is good that the government has taken these
decisions, particularly on the release of the youths, review
of cases of detainees under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and
compensation," party Politburo member Sitaram Yechury told.

However, the BJP expressed its opposition to any
dilution of the provisions of Armed Forces Special Powers Act

The BJP, which had distanced itself from some leaders of
the all-party delegation to J&K meeting separatist leaders
Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said it would
support all steps which are "anti-separatists and

"BJP favours return of normalcy in Jammu & Kashmir. It
has always stood for strong signals being sent to separatists
that India shall not compromise on its sovereignty under any
circumstances," the party said in a statement.

Tewari said the steps which have been announced by the
Home Minister range across the "entire spectrum of political,
economic, social and security aspects".

Speaking separately, AICC General Secretary Janardan
Dwivedi said the party will support any initiative taken by
the government in Kashmir.

After a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security, Home
Minister P Chidambaram announced the government had decided to
appoint a group of interlocutors headed by an eminent person,
and would suggest to the Jammu and Kashmir government to
release all those booked under minor charges, and also reopen
educational institutions.

Chidambaram said the state Government will be advised to review the notification of areas as "Disturbed Areas" but did not elaborate if it was a prelude to any phased withdrawal of
the AFSPA from certain areas of the Valley.

With PTI inputs

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