March 2007 News

PDP may pull out of coalition government in Kashmir

17 March 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir's ruling coalition partner People's Democratic Party (PDP) is reportedly considering pulling out of the Congress- led government after its demand for demilitarisation in the state and revocation of special powers to the security forces were rejected.The party was studying the content of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's letter to its patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed that has ruled out an immediate pullout of troops in Jammu and Kashmir, reliable sources said.PDP sources maintained that the decision on withdrawal from the government lay with the party's highest decision-making body, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), which is meeting March 25 to decide on the issue.'There is no hurry to come out with a response. The content of the letter are being analysed with all possible angles in view,' a PDP leader said. He also said that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) had given limitless powers to the security forces and it was acting as an encouragement for killing innocent people in the state. The recent incidents of 'fake encounters' or stage-managed killings by security forces were evidence of that, he added.In his response to Sayeed two days back, the prime minister is reported to have said that reduction of troops was not possible at this stage as intelligence inputs had hinted at the escalation in violence by militants. He said the situation could be reviewed in summer.Regarding the vacation of civilian property, the prime minister said the process was already on but revocation of AFSPA was not under consideration.


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