NEW DELHI: The all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir is likely to travel to the troubled state at the beginning of next week, probably on Monday, a home ministry official said.
The Home Minister, Mr P Chidambaram is likely to accompany the team, which is likely to visit both the violence-hit Kashmir and the Jammu regions.
“The details are still being worked out… whether it is a day’s visit or a two-day visit. Most probably the delegation will leave on Monday,” the official told IANS.
The Union home ministry is facilitating the visit.
The all-party meeting on Kashmir here on Wednesday, chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, decided to send an all-party delegation to Kashmir where 90 civilians, mostly teenagers and youth, have been killed in firing by security forces in the cycle of violence triggered by street protests since June 11.
The meeting was of the view that any decision on the demand for withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and release of prisoners may be taken after the all-party team gets a first hand impression of the situation in Kashmir.
Amid reports of PDP move to revive ties with the Congress, the National Conference president, Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday met the Congress chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister after which he declared that the Chief Minister, Mr Omar Abdullah was not going to step down.
The senior Abdullah, who is Union Minister for Renewable Energy, refused to divulge details of his discussions with Ms Gandhi and Dr Singh, terming the talks as “private”.
He, however, asserted that Mr Omar Abdullah was not going to resign and blamed the media for “creating situations” and “tragedy for the country”.
Mr Omar Abdullah has “no intention of stepping down nor is there any such move being made,” the NC chief told reporters.
Attacking the media, he said it plays “tricks” so that “one fellow should go down and second fellow should come up”.
To justify his targeting of the media, he referred to former minister of state for external affairs and said “do you hear anything about Shashi Tharoor now since he is gone. That is what you people do”.
His charge against the media came against the backdrop of a news report that PDP patron, Mr Mufti Sayeed had met Ms Gandhi and Dr Singh here in an apparent effort to revive ties.
Asked whether he was disappointed that the Centre had not agreed to withdrawal of the AFSPA, Dr Farooq Abdullah replied in the negative and argued that such decisions had to be taken while considering security aspects.
“These things don’t happen like this that we say… These things take time. They (central government) have to study situations, they have to study situations at borders of the state. Integrity of the country is the most vital,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Omar Abdullah on Thursday called on the Governor, Mr N N Vohra and briefed him about the steps being taken by his government to restore normalcy in the Kashmir valley, which has been in the grip of worst spell of unrest.
“The Chief Minister called on the Governor and discussed, for over an hour, the obtaining situation in the state,” an official spokesman said.
He said Mr Abdullah briefed the Governor about the measures being taken towards the restoration of normalcy in the valley.
The Governor stressed the need for ensuring effective security of the minority communities and the institutions run by them, including their places of worship in Kashmir.
Mr Vohra voiced grave concern over the most irreparable damage being done to the academic calendar of students at all levels and said there was need to take all possible measures to resume academic activities.
“The high importance of ensuring the functioning of the administrative apparatus was also underlined, particularly the need to ensure the delivery of public services and meeting the day to day needs of the common man,” the spokesman said.