National

Kashmir: PDF demands Confidence-building measures

Srinagar: Urging Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh to convene a Round Table Conference (RTC) for resolving Kashmir issue, former chief minister and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mufti Mohammad Syed, said that the same should be preceded by confidence-building measures (CBMs).

“Release of prisoners, stone-pelters and political leaders is important so that a conducive atmosphere is created here”, said the former chief minister, while addressing a rally here at TRC ground on February 26. He added, “once this happens, the Prime Minister should convene RTC and involve both mainstream and separatist leaders in the process.”

Dozens of vehicles were engaged by the party to ferry supporters from rural areas to the venue. The rally was also attended by party president, Mehbooba Mufti and some senior leaders.

Stressing the need for the withdrawal of the Disturbed Areas Act, revocation of AFSPA and recalling security forces from civilian areas, the PDP patron said, “I believe most of the demands of separatists would be fulfilled by implementing these CBMs”.

The former chief minister said, “youth and political leaders are being arrested and booked under PSA. This has to be stopped. The Union government should understand that there are people who are challenging state’s accession with the Union of India. This is a reality”. He added, “you can arrest people but you can’t suppress their sentiments. Democracy is a battle of ideas and it can be won by convincing people”.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 15

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