'Manmohan's Initiative Being Undermined'
27 June 2007
Srinagar: Taking strong exception to a statement made by Defence Minister A.K. Antony on withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the former Chief Minister and People's Democratic Party (PDP) founder, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, said on Wednesday the Minister's remarks had the potential of diluting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's initiative on Kashmir. The Mufti told a public meeting in Charar-e-Sharief that the remarks tended to undermine the work of the two committees constituted by the Prime Minister for looking into the PDP's demand for troop reduction and revocation of the AFSPA. Mr. Sayeed said the Prime Minister's clear-cut declaration that the two committees would look into the issue was followed up by an orchestrated series of comments by some quarters in Delhi and Srinagar in an apparent attempt to stall the whole process. 'If the matter was left to the experts, the final opinion should also have come only after the two committees had submitted their report,' he said.