PM takes stock of Jammu and Kashmir situation

August 16th, 2008 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) With tension in Jammu and Kashmir showing no signs of abating, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday held a meeting of his senior cabinet colleagues to review the situation in the state that has been on the boil for more than two months over the Amarnath land row. The one-and-a-half hour meeting, at Manmohan Singh’s official residence 7, Race Course road, was attended by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

Mukherjee reportedly explained the latest situation in the state at the meeting.

The Congress committee on Jammu and Kashmir, which has party president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad as members, met Friday evening to take stock of the situation.

The Congress-led central government, which is treading cautiously to bring normalcy to the border state, seems to have decided to set up a new panel for dialogue with the agitating groups in both Jammu and Kashmir regions of the state.

In his Independence Day speech Friday, the prime minister had urged all parties to shun violence and strive for a permanent solution to the problems faced by the state. He also said the row over handing of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) was a “cause for concern” and that dividing people in the name of religion would complicate issues.

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