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Azad wants 'concrete response' to Pakistan's proposals
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January 05, 2007 16:27 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is understood to have stressed the need for a concrete response to Pakistan's proposal for joint management and de-militarisation of Kashmir during meetings with top central leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

During his meetings with Dr Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday night and Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Friday, Azad emphasised the need for working out a concrete reply to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's proposal for joint management of Kashmir.

"Let's have joint management of water resources, tourism and trade between the two parts of Kashmir," Azad was quoted by sources as having told the Central leaders.

Azad feels Pakistan is only making such proposals for the consumption of the media and New Delhi should take the initiative for 'firming up' the proposals so that Islamabad's seriousness about resolving the Kashmir issue can be gauged, the sources said.

Azad has been making clear that the proposals needed to be discussed thoroughly and there should be synchronisation between public posturing and the stand taken at the negotiating table, they said.

About de-militerisation, Azad, during his meetings, said this is a two-pronged issue that needs to be taken up with Islamabad to find out what it meant by it.

Removing the army from the borders or the Line of Control is not acceptable and sending the armed forces in civilian areas back to barracks depends on the reduction of violence by militants, as the forces are only performing normal law and order duties, Azad was quoted by the sources as having told the central leaders.

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