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Centre discusses J&K situation with NC leaders

August 30, 2008 22:42 IST
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After failing to seek support from its one-time ally People's Democratic Party, the Centre on Saturday had a meeting with National Conference following which the party said it wanted peace to return in Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest.

Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah and his son and National Conference chief Omar Abdullah had a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where the two sides discussed the present situation in the state besides broad contours of the agreement with the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti, a group spearheading the agitation in Jammu.

Emerging after one-hour meeting with the prime minister, which was also attended by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Abdullah told reporters that his party was only in favour of return of peace and normalcy in the state.

"The yatra has been and will remain there always. National Conference is only for peace and not for politics on religious matters. People with no base and having vested interests can play politics in Kashmir and in Jammu," he said.

Abdullah said the land will be used for erecting temporary shelters during the yatra period and removed once it is finished. "No one should have a problem in this. After all land will remain only in Kashmir and no one will snatch it to Jammu or Delhi," he said.

The National Conference delegation also impressed upon the prime minister to remove the miseries of people in Kashmir as the holy month of Ramazan was approaching fast.

"Peace is necessary. The Ramzan begins on September 3. No Muslim will like to have disturbance during this holy month," he said.

The Centre had called in PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Friday for a luncheon meeting during which the two sides could not bring around a solution following PDP's reluctance for a unilateral agreement between the Samiti and the Jammu and Kashmir government.

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