‘Government committed to free, fair elections in Kashmir’

July 20th, 2008 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 20 (IANS) Condemning the increased militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister A.K. Antony Sunday praised the Indian Army’s role in the restive state where polls are due later this year. “What happened in Kashmir is unfortunate and the militants are out to create trouble. They do not want to have a free and fair election. But we will ensure that free and fair elections are held and for that we will do everything possible,” said Antony.

Antony was referring to Saturday’s militant attack on an army convoy in Srinagar that left seven soldiers dead and at least 14 injured.

“We are very proud of the armed forces personnel who are doing a great duty for the country by even risking their lives,” Antony told reporters here.

Antony said even though the “climate” was very hot in Delhi, “I have come here to take part in the celebrations of the Indian Air Force unit here”.

He apparently referred to the political crisis in New Delhi that arose after the Left parties withdrew outside support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.

The government is facing a crucial confidence vote in parliament Tuesday and the UPA is trying to cobble up the magical number of 272 MPs, much needed for its survival in power.

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