JK: Shift in ANC policy, wants to join polls fray

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Srinagar, Mar 5: The Awami National Conference (ANC) headed by former chief minister Ghulam Mohammad Shah has decided to contest 2008 Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir later this year, without setting any precondition.

However, the ANC president said to make the election process more transparent, credential, free and fair, a Commission comprising former prime ministers, chief justices, parliamentarian and Human Rights Activists, should be appointed.

But without making it a precondition for joining the poll process, he said if the Centre did not appoint the Commission, he himself will invite observers to the elections.

A release issued by the press secretary of the ANC, said during the past few months, Mr Shah, who is also the brother-in-law of National Conference (NC) patron Dr Farooq Abdullah, held meetings with party leaders and others in Kashmir and Jammu region.

He said Mr Shah was concerned over the death and destruction in the state during the past two decades.

The former chief minister, supporting the confederation idea of late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, said there could be no peace in the sub-continent without resolving the Kashmir issue.

However, he said, no solution was acceptable without involving the people of Kashmir in the process.

Mr Shah expressed the hope that India and Pakistan will support the intra-Kashmir conference being organised by the ANC in July this year to find a durable and acceptable solution to Kashmir issue.


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