March 2007 News

Demilitarisation in Kashmir on cards, says Mufti

3 March 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir's ruling coalition partner People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Saturday said that the party could very well see a 'silver lining on the horizon' for demilitarisation of the state.Sayeed also dismissed the suggestions that its alliance with Congress was in trouble on its demand for troops withdrawal from the state and revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The party had stayed away from a cabinet meeting Wednesday to express its discontent that the agenda did not include the issue of revocation.'I said this is an issue of our party and that's all,' said the former chief minister.'We are serious about it,' he added. 'This is our answer to all those saying that PDP was enacting drama. We don't play gimmicks, we work in style and deliver in substance.'Sayeed was talking to the media Saturday after welcoming his one time rival from National Conference (NC), Rafi Ahmad Mir, to the PDP. Mir had fought elections against him and his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti in Pahalgam Assembly constituency in south Kashmir.'We welcome him. I am sure he is going to be an asset for the party.'Rafi Mir is the latest in the line of the NC leaders who have crossed over to PDP. Earlier, several NC leaders like Mohammad Dillawar Mir, Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Nissar Khan and M.S. Tariq had joined the party.Mufti, however, refused to comment on NC and Congress joining hands in elections for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Jammu Municipal Corporation.'It (the PDP demand) cannot be spurned by the central government,' he said, adding that troops will leave the state soon and Kashmir resolution will pick up the pace.


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