PDP chief confident of troops reduction from Kashmir
8 March 2007
Indo-Asian News Service
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir's ruling coalition partner People's Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday voiced cautious optimism that withdrawal of troops from the state will be done in a phased manner, after it had discussions with the central government.PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who is also an MP, told a group of newsmen here Thursday that her discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, other union ministers and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi during her weeklong stay in New Delhi 'were good'.Mufti, who had returned from the national capital Wednesday, spoke to the media here after having discussions with her father and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and other senior party colleagues including Ghulam Hassan Mir and Abdul Aziz Zargar.The PDP is determined on its demand in keeping with the changed situation in Jammu and Kashmir, she said.She maintained that the party's viewpoint on the staggered withdrawal of troops from pockets where the situation has eased, revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and vacation of orchards and fields by security forces, was received well by the union ministers.The PDP chief, during her stay in New Delhi, also met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.