Peoples Democratic Party sets agenda for PM’s visit

April 18th, 2008 - 4:33 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Jammu, April 18 (IANS) The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), partner in the Jammu and Kashmir ruling alliance, is seeking to set the agenda for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the state beginning April 25. It wants to know the status of the recommendations of the working groups on Kashmir, constituted in July 2006. Singh, who is visiting the state after a gap of nine months - his last visit was in July 2007 when he received D. Litt degree from the Jammu university - will be addressing a convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University April 25 and will dedicate the Dul Hasti project to the nation April 26.

But PDP also wants the prime minister to spell out the status of the recommendations of the working groups constituted by him in July 2006 at the conclusion of the second round table conference on Kashmir in Srinagar in May that year.

Only four of the five groups have submitted their recommendations and PDP expected Singh to deliver on some of the crucial recommendations like the return of Kashmiri youth who had gone to Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the 1990s to be trained as militants.

PDP patron and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said: “We want the prime minister to announce decisions on the recommendations of the working groups.”

He told IANS: “It is the question of credibility of the centre (central government) and prime minister as also a critical matter concerning the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Mufti Sayeed was echoing what his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had stated at a public meeting in Beerwah, Kashmir Thursday.

The duo called for the repeal of the special powers of the armed forces, safe passage for Kashmiri youth in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and rehabilitation of the victims of violence including the families of militants.

“All these are recommendations of the working groups,” Mufti observed.

“It is for the prime minister to announce follow up steps.”

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