Allow youths in PoK to return,involve HC to resolve Kashmir: PDP

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Srinagar, Feb 3 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Centre to facilitate safe return of the youth and the political leaders who had gone across to the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) during turmoil and were now eager to return and live peacefully with their families, a PDP press release issued here today said.

The PDP, a partner in the coalition led government in the state, said, the Centre would be well-devised to involve Hurriyat Conference (HC) and other political groups in meaningful deliberations for realistic and just resolution of the Kashmir problem.

According to the press release, during her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi last evening, Party President Mehbooba Mufti said relief should be given to the youth who had gone across for arms training and were now eager to return back and live normal lives. The relief should also be extended to the non-combatants as well as those who had gone across during the turmoil, under whatever circumstances, she urged.

''It will be a significant goodwill gesture and a reconciliatory move of great essence on behalf of the government of India,'' she said.

Ms Mufti told the Prime Minister that given the fast-changing equations in the sub-continent, fresh initiatives must be taken to bring various shades of the state's political opinion on board to work-out a broad-based consensus for the peaceful resolution of the issue, the release said.

''The Indian Government will be well-devised to realise this historical opportunity and expressively involve HC and other political groups in meaningful deliberations for realistic and just resolution of the problem,'' she said.

The PDP President said while the political instability in Pakistan had temporarily impacted the bilateral Confidence Building Process, the Centre must, meanwhile, move ahead with added resolve, to address the internal dimensions of the problem.

She said implementation of the recommendations of the Working Groups, pertaining to the intra-State issues, could set the foundations for the reconciliation and resolution process.

With considerable improvement in the situation, the Centre must now start pruning the strength of the troops deployed for anti-militancy operations and act with political resolve on the recommendations of one of the Working Groups for scrapping the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Ms Mufti said.

''Such measures have now become unavoidable,'' she said.

The PDP President said the measures like rehabilitation of the victims of violence irrespective of their affiliation, easing restrictions on the cross-LoC movement of people and goods and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrant Pandits mark a welcome beginning that would further consolidate the constituency for peace.

Ms Mufti discussed in detail the political scenario and the State's developmental issues with Dr Singh.

The functioning of the Coalition Government in the state also figured prominently in the deliberations of the PDP President with Dr Singh, the release said.

UNI BAS SHB HT1750

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