In a move to restart the political process in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre is planning to invite “all shades of opinion” including the Hurriyat Conference.
Government sources said the invitation would be extended separately to each political formation; big or small; mainstream and separatists groups.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had this month told the Cabinet Committee on Security that the political process needed to be started in the state once the cycle of violence ended.
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had followed up on Singh’s advice, saying the Centre should talk to everybody who was willing to talk and reach out to those who are unwilling to talk.
“The Centre,” a PTI report quoted him saying, should try “some Track II diplomacy like the efforts made in 2000”. The reference was to a Ramzan ceasefire with the Hizbul Mujahideen 10 years ago.
The Congress on Wednesday held a first meeting of its Kashmir Committee on the current unrest in the state.
The panel, which had been revived during the 2008 Amarnath land row, reviewed the performance of ministers in the National Conference-Congress government and took note of allegations of corruption.
Assuring full support to J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, the committee asked him to strengthen the governance at all levels.
The meeting was attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, central ministers Pranab Mukherjee, AK Antony, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Prithviraj Chavan, who is also general secretary in-charge of J&K besides state unit chief Saifuddin Soz.
Lal chowk attack mastermind killed
A top Harkat-ul-Mujahideen militant, suspected to be mastermind behind the suicide attack in Lal Chowk area here early this year, was on Wednesday killed along with another ultra in an encounter with security forces in Sopore town of North Kashmir.
The 20-hour fierce gunbattle also left a soldier dead and the house of a government employee destroyed, an official spokesman said. The slain self-styled divisional commander has been identified as Nouman, a Pakistani national, he said.