Kashmir crisis: Congress leaders urge Mufti, Mehbooba to take part in all-party meeting

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Ludhiana (Punjab)/New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Senior Congress party leader Digvijay Singh and party spokesman Manish Tewari have appealed to the main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Kashmir not to boycott today's all-party meeting in Srinagar, which has been called to discuss and determine a solution to end weeks of violent protests.

The appeal came as PDP president Mehbooba Mufti rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal to attend the Srinagar meeting, which has been convened by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.Looking at the present situation, we believe that every political party, every organisation which is in the national mainstream and believes in democracy, should come forward and rise above the petty politics, to help in making the situation there (Kashmir) normal," said Tewari on the sidelines of a seminar in Ludhiana.

"There are many elements who do not want the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to become normal. Even after the restoration of democracy in 1996, there still are groups which get encouragement from across the border, and they are at forefront of not letting the situation in the state normalize," Tewari added.

Digvijay Singh, a general secretary of the Congress party, said that the PDP leadership should reconsider its decision to stay away from Monday's meeting.

"Well, I think it is in everyone's interest that peace returns to the Kashmir Valley. And, we should rise above politics, rise above personal likes and dislikes, and I would urge the PDP (People's Democratic Party), particularly Mufti Saheb (former chief minister Mufti Mohammad) and Mehbooba (PDP president) to reconsider their decision, and participate in bringing back peace to the valley," said Singh in New Delhi.

The views of these two Congress leaders assume significance in wake of the situation in the valley still being tense, though curfew has been lifted. (ANI)

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