March 2003 News

Mufti Healing Touch Policy To Be Discussed At Meeting

26 March 2003
The Asian Age

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's healing touch policy and the Centre's rehabilitation programme for Kashmiri migrants will figure in the meeting which has been convened to review the security in the state in the wake of the massacre of 24 pandits on Sunday night. The decision to convene the meeting with the Jammu and Kashmir government to discuss security was taken on Tuesday during the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security. Mr Sayeed will attend the meeting in which deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, defence minister George Fernandes and senior officials of the Union home ministry will discuss the ways and means to step up security in the state. It is learnt that the CCS on Tuesday discussed the 'healing touch' policy of the Mufti government, particularly the release of political prisoners from jails in Jammu and Kashmir, and subsequently decided to put it before chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed during the meeting either on March 30 or March 31. Although the final date of the meeting has not yet been decided, Mr Advani on Wednesday hinted at two probable dates while talking to the reporters after the defence investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Officials said that the healing touch policy would figure during the meeting as ever since this policy came into effect in the state, the number of anti-militancy operations has come down. There was also an impression among Army officers that slow anti-militancy operations might have emboldened terrorists to undertake such strikes, they added. Besides, the policy to rehabilitate the Kashmiri Hindu migrants, who are living in camps in Jammu and Delhi, at certain identified sites in the Valley will also come for serious scanning in the meeting. The officials said that though the government had planned to set up two colonies in the states for rehabilitation of such migrants, there had been serious doubts in the minds of people over the security aspect. Now the possibility of carrying this move forward seemed difficult after the recent massacre. Considering the security scenario in the state, the government might opt for discontinuing this programme till the sense of security was restored among the Kashmiri migrants, they added.


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