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No CCS Decision On AFSPA, Calls AlI-Party Meet

New Delhi: Amid a flare-up in violence in Kashmir, the government on Monday  deferred a decision on the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act but called an all-party meeting on Wednesday and expressed readiness for
PTI September 13, 2010 22:47 IST
PTI
New Delhi: Amid a flare-up in violence in Kashmir, the government on Monday  deferred a decision on the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act but called an all-party meeting on Wednesday and expressed readiness for talks to address "trust-deficit" and "governance-deficit".  

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met for three hours under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to review the volatile situation in Kashmir and expressed distress over the "turn of events" since Eid on Saturday.  The CCS appealed to the people of Kashmir, especially the youth, to refrain from violent protests as it expressed grief over the loss of lives in the three-month-long unrest.  

An official statement issued after the three-hour long meeting, however, made no mention to the AFSPA. The CCS meeting had set off speculation that the government could consider partial withdrawal of the AFSPA as demanded by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.  

Emphasising that "dialogue and discussion is the only way forward to find an honourable and lasting solution", the statement said "the dialogue can embrace all the issues that agitate the minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the youth."  It said the "dialogue can address issues such as the trust-deficit and the governance-deficit".

The CCS cited government's intention to "restart" the process of dialogue with different sections of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. "Towards this end, the CCS has decided to convene a meeting of all political parties at New Delhi on Wednesday... and elicit their views on the way forward," it said.  

Hours before the meeting, the Prime Minister voiced concern over the unrest in the valley and sought to reach out to the people there, saying their "grievances" have to be addressed. He promised talks within the Indian Constitution with those who abjure violence.  Singh emphasised the need for better delivery of services and generating avenues for economic advancement of the people of the state. PTI