Cabinet Committee meeting on Kashmir postponed over Pranab, Krishna's absence

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which was to meet here on Saturday to discuss ways to deal with the ongoing unrest in the Kashmir Valley, has been postponed to Monday, as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna were not in New Delhi.

There are also reports of differences cropping among top Congress leaders over the issue of withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Earlier on Friday, the Congress Core Group met at the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh's, residence to discuss the ongoing crisis in the Valley region.

The party's apex decision-making body, which held discussions over the issue for over 90 minutes, felt that the problems in the State could not be resolved merely by withdrawing the AFSPA.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had on Thursday met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A K Antony to seek their supports for his demand for amendments in the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

Abdullah, who met the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Thursday, had then highlighted the need for making AFSPA more humane, and requested Dr. Singh to kick-start a political dialogue with the separatists at the earliest.

Earlier talking to a group of editors at his residence on September 6, Dr Manmohan Singh said: "A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security is being called shortly to discuss the situation in the Kashmir Valley. I cannot promise you that I will produce a rabbit out of my hat, the country must learn to be patient."

"Also the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir Government are looking out for options to address the concerns of the Kashmiris," he added pointing out that the Kashmir problem has existed for 63 years and Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had all attempted to tackle it.

Police imposed restrictions on the movement of people in nine districts of the Valley as a precautionary measure. Curfew, however, was lifted in the Kashmir Valley on Thursday morning.

So far, about 69 people have been killed during the ongoing unrest in the Valley. (ANI)

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