Patil to report to Manmohan Singh on Kashmir visit
NEW DELHI: Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who returned from his first Kashmir visit on Tuesday, said he was preparing a report about the situation in the state to be presented to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh before he flies to Srinagar on November 17. Mr Patil met officials at his office here on Tuesday to discuss the report. “The report, containing the issues and points which came up during the visit and their solutions, both long-term and short-term, will be prepared within a week,” the minister told reporters. Those who attended the meeting included S Jaiswal and S Ragupathy, the state home ministers, NN Vohra, India’s pointman on Kashmir, and defence and intelligence officials. The security situation and other issues and their possible solutions were discussed at the meeting. “I will brief Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about visit after he returns from The Hague,” he said. TAK Nair, the principal secretary to the prime minister, also met Mr Patil and discussed the visit. Mr Patil said the Kashmir report would also be sent to the ministries of power, telecommunication and road transport and highways for appropriate action. He said his visit to Kashmir was ‘ a step forward’. Mr Patil said the government would continue dialogue with different sections of society for peace in Kashmir and hoped that the Kashmiri leaders would also join the process. “We are willing to talk to everyone who wants to talk to us,” Mr Patil said. He said during he held a series of meetings with a cross-section of people in Kashmir, including the civil, army and paramilitary officials.
Omar wants pro-Army law revoked: Opposition National Conference (NC) on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) ahead of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir as an ‘Eid gift’ to the people of Kashmir, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.What Kashmir needed was not only an economic package but also a political package. Withdrawal of AFSPA should act as the first step towards confidence building, PTI quoted NC President Omar Abdullah’s statement. “Kashmiris are no beggars waiting for alms from the masters in Delhi. We Kashmiris want to live with dignity and respect and withdrawal of the act will be the first step in this direction,” he said. staff report