Mufti defends release of political prisoners
19 December 2002
The Times of India
Jammu: Defending the state government''s decision to release political prisoners, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Syeed has said the ruling alliance''s Common Minimum Programme spoke candidly about the non-use of Pota in the state and reorientation of Special Operation Groups. ''There is no need to be defensive on the release of political prisoners against whom there are no serious charges'', Sayeed said while releasing a statistical report on the elections in the state assembly on Wednesday evening. The chief minister said while the assembly elections helped in creating a conducive atmosphere in the state they also posed the challenge of ending people''s alienation with the system, a major step towards achieving the objective of heralding peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Describing the assembly polls as the ''fairest'', said he was initially apprehensive about their credibility. ''The credit for the successful, transparent and fair elections goes mainly to the Election Commission that has strengthened the democracy,'' he said. Referring to his meeting with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister during the process of formation of the government in the state, Sayeed said they had assured their whole-hearted support to his government.