Amarnath Row: Talks In Doubt As Threat Of Boycott Looms Large

8 August 2008
The Times of India


New Delhi: Even as home minister Shivraj Patil leads an 18-member delegation to Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday for talks with those agitating for return of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board, the prospects of a meaningful dialogue have receded with the protestors threatening to boycott the talks. The Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti objected to the presence of Kashmiri leaders on the team - Farooq Abdullah of NC, Mehbooba Mufti of PDP and Saifuddin Soz of the Congress. 'We have come to know that these Kashmiri leaders have been included in the delegation. Therefore, we doubt the integrity of this delegation since they are responsible for the present turmoil in the state,' Samiti convenor L K Sharma said in Jammu. The other members of the delegation are Arun Jaitley (BJP), Amar Singh (SP), Sitaram Yechury (CPM), D Raja (CPI), Mohsina Kidwai (Congress), K C Tyagi (JD-U), Naresh Gujral (SAD), Akhtar Hassan (BSP) and R C Paswan (LJP). Soz, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD), A Raja (DMK), Prithviraj Chavan and Sriprakash Jaiswal (both Congress) are among the ministers who will be part of the delegation. Besides meeting locals in Jammu, the delegation will also visit Srinagar to take the opinion of people in the Valley before arriving at any solution.