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PM curtails Kashmir visit

By Onkar Singh in Srinagar
Last updated on: May 25, 2006 16:02 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will return to New Delhi few hours before his scheduled departure from Srinagar as the round table conference is likely to be wound up by afternoon.

Forty one persons had been invited to take part in the two-day deliberations in the second round table, but only 30 turned up.

Dr Singh decided to sit till 9.30 pm and hear the viewpoints of as many speakers as possible.

"Because of this the second day's sitting could be completed ahead of time so that the prime minister could leave for Delhi by 5 pm," sources in the Prime Minister's Office pointed out.

Among those who spoke on the first day included Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad, former chief ministers Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, Communist Party (Marxist) leader Yusuf Tarigami and on Thursday Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were amongst those who were expected to make their presentations.

Interestingly both the National Conference and the People's Democratic Party have threatened not to attend the next round of discussions if nothing tangible comes out of the present round.

"I think the Hurriyat has missed an opportunity to place their point of view before us. If they could do it in Pakistan why can't they do here?" Dr Abdullah told

Another reason for Dr Singh's early return is the security concern. The city has come to a standstill and visitors to the Valley have been forced to stay indoors and not venture out because of massive security presence.

Dr Singh would be addressing a press conference at 4 pm.

Also Read:
Why do we tolerate the Hurriyat?
PM's five-point plan for a new J&K

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Onkar Singh in Srinagar