March 2007 News

PDP postpones crucial meet in sign of reconciliation

23 March 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

Srinagar: In a visible sign of thawing, Jammu and Kashmir's ruling alliance partner People's Democratic Party (PDP) Friday postponed its political affairs committee meet scheduled for Sunday when it was to decide on the issue of continuing in the government.'We have been told by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to wait for a few days more and for this reason the party president (Mehbooba Mufti) has been asked to fix a new date for the political affairs committee meeting, which was originally scheduled for the 25th of this month,' Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, senior PDP leader told reporters here on phone from New Delhi.The crucial meeting had been called by PDP patron and former chief minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed to decide on PDP's continuance or otherwise in the multi-party coalition government headed by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.Beigh also said he met the prime minister Friday as part of the PDP's effort to seek de- militarization and withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state.The impasse in relations between the PDP and the Congress over these sensitive issues seems to have been resolved, if only temporarily, through a series of meetings between the central leadership of the Congress and the leaders of the PDP during the last two days in Delhi.This became clear when Beigh said from Delhi: 'We want that whatever decisions are arrived at between the Congress leaders and the PDP must include the state chief minister, Jenab Ghulam Nabi Azad.'It must be recalled that Azad has firmly dismissed de-militarization in the state. He has also said infiltration from across the border into the state had doubled in recent months as compared to the corresponding period last year.'I feel the centre will have to give some concessions to Mufti in this regard, however symbolic such a concession might be,' said a senior newspaper editor here.'Returning empty-handed would be fatal for the PDP as Mufti's detractors in both the mainstream and the separatist political camps here have been accusing him of trying to create a storm in a tea cup by raising issues like de-militarization and withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act,' he said.


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