Hurriyat faction to discuss Kashmir package on Monday
The moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq will meet on Monday to respond to Centre's latest Kashmir initiative even as a senior minister said the package was not meant for separatists but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.india Updated: Sep 26, 2010 21:09 IST
The moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq will meet on Monday to respond to Centre's latest Kashmir initiative even as a senior minister said the package was not meant for separatists but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We have convened a meeting of the Executive and General council tomorrow wherein the announcement made by the Government of India will be discussed threadbare before a formal response is made to it," Hurriyat chairman Farooq said.
However, sources close to Mirwaiz said the amalgam was not too excited about the 8-point formula announced by Home Minister P Chidambaram yesterday for normalising the situation in Kashmir Valley, saying "it was another case of taking half steps".
The sources said the official response of the moderate faction is likely to be a 'guarded one'.
In New Delhi, Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan said the package was not meant for the separatists but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and hoped that a positive reaction would emerge soon.
Chavan's comments to reporters came when he was asked about Hurriyat Conference hardline faction headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani terming the Kashmir package as an "eyewash" and "delaying tactics".
The minister said,"It is a package not for the separatists but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I am sure when the package unfolds, the intention of the government to sooth the frayed tempers comes to the fore, there will be a positive reaction," the minister said.
Noting that there had been positive reaction from some quarters, he said that he did not expect the "separatists to offer any positive reaction as they have a different agenda.
"But we are willing to talk to anyone who wants to find a solution... political leaders, social leaders, NGOs, even people with different ideology... we are willing to talk to them," Chavan said.
Under a major 8-point initiative to address the unrest in the Kashmir Valley, a group of interlocutors is being appointed to hold a "sustained dialogue" with various shades of opinion, about 200 youth detained for stone-pelting are being released and the presence of security personnel is being de-scaled.
Significantly, the notification of areas as "disturbed" will be reviewed which could pave the way for non-application of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to certain parts which will cease to be treated as disturbed.
Keen to prepare a job plan for J-K, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reviewed the work of the Expert Group set up by him for the task and directed them to ensure that the opportunities generated were sustainable.