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Chidambaram, Omar agree to push Kashmir peace roadmap

Friday February 04, 2011 11:52:42 AM, IANS

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Jammu: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday and the two agreed to draw up a roadmap for lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir. The former then reviewed the security situation in Kishtwar.

Abdullah hosted an hour-long breakfast meeting with the visiting home minister who is on a two-day visit to the state from Thursday.

Both Chidambaram and Abdullah, who have been advocating an "out of the box solution" for Kashmir and also back efforts of the three interlocutors on Kashmir, had a candid exchange of views, sources said.

Kashmir saw violence by stone-pelting protesters in the summer of 2010 in which over 100 people died in firing by the security forces, and both leaders were in favour of speeding up the process for a solution acceptable to all three regions of the state.

Abdullah favoured opening more channels of communication with people, especially separatists, and inject a sense of confidence among the masses.

Accompanied by Abdullah, Chidambaram also held a security review meeting in Kishtwar to "get a feel of the situation" in the mountainous areas of the state and find out the viewpoint of the people in the region on possible solutions for peace.

The meeting was attended by deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts - the worst militancy affected areas in Jammu region of the state and where people feel a disconnect with those in the plains of Jammu and the Kashmir Valley.

Chidambaram is the first home minister to hold a security review meeting of these mountainous districts in Kishtwar, which was carved out of Doda district in July 2006.

The mountainous region has its boundaries with Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir Valley and also with the plains of Jammu.

Most officers present said the "situation has improved and it is stabilising and militants were on the run", according to sources. But their biggest fear was the continuing infiltration from across the border.

"If infiltration is checked on the borders, the militancy in the mountains will die its own death," one officer is reported to have told Chidambaram.

Chidambaram had met Governor N.N. Vohra Thursday night and also senior leaders of the Congress who voiced apprehension over a proposed reversal of central laws in Kashmir.







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