Rahul Gandhi to visit Pak shelling-hit areas in J-K from Aug 26

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2015 13:18 IST

Even as the NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan have collapsed over Islamabad's insistence on meeting Hurriyat leaders prior to a bilateral engagement, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit shelling-hit border areas in Jammu and Kashmir next week.

During his three-day visit to the state from August 26, Rahul is expected to travel to all the three regions of the state - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Soon after his arrival in Jammu, he will visit Balakote area in Poonch district, where six people were killed and scores wounded due to Pakistan firing on August 15.

He will also meet families of the victims and interact with affected population of border areas, and also meet representatives of different sections of society, apart from addressing a panchayat conference.

The next day, he will arrive in Kashmir and is expected to visit Sopore and Pampore areas. Sopore, the hometown of Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was in the news recently after suspected militants killed some people associated with the telecom business. The attacks had forced many to close down their operations.

Rahul will also interact with people in the valley before travelling to Kargil and Leh areas in Ladakh district.

He is also expected to discuss the state of affairs in the Congress with senior leaders and workers. The infighting in the faction-ridden state unit has escalated in the recent past. The party last month suspended former Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Gulchain Singh Charak and ex-ministers Abdul Ghani Vakil and Prem Sagar Aziz from the primary membership of the organisation for indulging in anti-party activities.

The three have been up in arms ever since the high command appointed former minister Ghulam Ahmed Mir as the state unit chief early this year.

"I will be the last person to accept the leadership of Mir, who is the juniormost in the party and possesses doubtful credentials," Vakil had said in a pre-emptive resignation letter.

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