Azad meets Omar to discuss working groups
9 June 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Continuing his consultations with political parties in the State on formation of five Working Groups for resolving Kashmir issue, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today met opposition National Conference president Omar Abdullah here. During about 90-minute meeting, the two leaders discussed names of various personalities proposed for the five prestigious Working Groups, official sources said. After the meeting, Omar Abdullah told the Excelsior on telephone that he was approached by Mr Azad to give one name each from his party for five Working Groups. 'I will discuss the issue with my party's senior leaders and then submit names to the Chief Minister', he said. Mr Abdullah stressed that task of all five Working Groups must be time bound. 'During my meeting with the Chief Minister, I stressed time bound working of all groups so that their fate is different from other committees set up on Kashmir issue', he said. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had announced formation of five Working Groups at the end of the second Round Table Conference here on May 25. Later, during his meeting with Dr Singh in New Delhi, Mr Azad was authorised to constitute the groups in consultations with coalition partners and opposition leaders and other groups especially those who had attended the Round Table. Mr Azad and Mr Abdullah underscored the need to solve all complex issues through consensus and unanimity at appropriate forums constituted by the Prime Minister for this purpose, the sources said. Both the leaders agreed that peaceful solution of all complex problems would help the people of the State particularly the Valley, the sources said. It was agreed in the meeting that certainty, peace, tranquillity and overall massive development are essential for the State, the sources said. The two leaders expressed their anguish on recent attacks on tourists made with an intention to paralyse tourism industry in the state, the sources said. Mr Azad yesterday met former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and discussed various issues taken up in the Round Table Conference as well as nomination of the members of the five Working Groups. The Chief Minister is expected to meet CPM leader Mohd Yusuf Tarigami besides representatives from Ladakh and Kargil in next couple of days before shifting to Jammu for a similar exercise. The Round Table Conference had decided to set up working groups on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to be taken in the State especially for rehabilitation of victims of violence, return of Kashmiri Pandits, job opportunities for militancy victims, measures to improve ties across the Line of Control (LoC), economic development and good governance.