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Cabinet Committee on Security likely to discuss Kashmir Eid package today

india Updated: Sep 11, 2010 09:18 IST

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) may meet Saturday to finalise an Eid peace package for the violence-hit Kashmir, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Friday after a two-hour meeting of the Congress core committee.

"Yes, we discussed the Kashmir situation. The CCS may meet tomorrow," Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official residence - 7 Race Course Road.

Besides Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, senior leaders Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Congress general secretary in charge of Jammu and Kashmir Prithviraj Chavan and political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel attended the meeting.

Prominent party leaders from the state -- party chief Saifuddin Soz, former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and former union minister Karan Singh -- also attended the meeting.

This is the second meeting of the Congress core committee on Kashmir since eruption of stone-pelting street protests in Kashmir June 11.

According to Congress circles, the party core committee's suggestions for a peace package will be considered by the CCS.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had met Manmohan Singh Wednesday here and requested for the lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) at least from a few districts of the state.

Abdullah met Mukherjee and Antony Thursday and discussed the situation in the violence-hit state.

According to official sources, the peace package is likely to include:

- Lifting of AFSPA from the districts of Srinagar and Badgam in Kashmir and Jammu and Ramban in Jammu region. Now all the districts of the state are placed under the act.

- Special compensation for the families of the 69 civilians killed in firing by security forces during the past three months.

- Jobs and rehabilitation for surrendered militants.

- An employment package for the educated unemployed.

- Release of arrested youths and withdrawal of several cases related to stone-pelting.

The central government will repeat its intention to begin a dialogue with "all shades of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir," the sources said.

Sending an all-party parliamentary delegation to the violence-hit state will be another proposal to come up at the cabinet meeting.

At least 69 civilians, mostly teenagers and young men, have been killed in firing by security forces on stone-pelting street protesters since June 11.

The cycle of violence has led to frequent shutdowns and curfew in the valley for the past three months.