Interlocutors Continue 'Mission Kashmir', Visit Uri11 November 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Unemployment and lack of basic amenities like drinking water and electricity were highlighted prominently by the delegations in Uri border town of Baramulla district during their interactions with the two visiting interlocutors Prof Radha Kumar and former Information Commissioner M M Ansari. The interlocutors, who arrived in Uri town this morning, met the delegations of ruling National Conference and Congress and Pahari Forum as part of their second visit to the State after being appointed by the Centre to get a ground report about aspirations of the people in the State. Haji Asadullah, the block president of Congress in Uri, led his party's delegation which included some prominent citizens from the town as well. The National Conference delegation was led by Mushtaq Ahmad Chaudhry while Qazi Mohammad Sheikh led the Pahari Forum delegation. The delegates while expressing their desire for resolution of Kashmir issue, stressed on the day to day problems faced by the people of Uri and adjoining areas, official sources said. The delegations urged the interlocutors to convince the Centre to provide electricity to the border area as one of the biggest power houses in the State was located there. They also highlighted the rising unemployment in the area among the youth and demanded a special recruitment drive for them. One of the delegates raised the issue of cross-Line of Control trade with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) demanding that it should be made free trade zone. 'Instead of having restricted number of items on the exchange list, the trade should be free and all items should be allowed to be exported and imported,' Ataullah Handoo said. He also demanded upgrading the facilities at the Trade Facilitation Centre at Salamabad on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route. The interlocutors later visited Kaman Post, the last point before the start of PoK territory. Kumar and Ansari arrived on their second visit to the State on Tuesday and have so far interacted with delegations in Leh, Kargil and Baramulla district headquarters. They are scheduled to visit Anantnag town in South Kashmir and several other areas in the Valley over next couple of days before they submit their report to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. The interlocutors arrived here last month on their first visit but the separatists have refused to meet them saying it was 'futile' excercise aimed at buying time. Meanwhile, curfew was imposed in parts of Baramulla district as a precautionary measure even as normal life remained affected in rest of Kashmir valley due to the strike called by hard line faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani. 'Curfew has been imposed in Delina and Palhalan towns of Baramulla district as a precautionary measure,' a police spokesman said here. He said there were no restrictions in rest of the Valley where the situation so far has remained peaceful. 'The situation through the day remained under control and there were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the Valley,' he added. Normal life remained disrupted due to the strike called by Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference to protest against the civilian killings in Kashmir during the past five months of unrest. Shops, business establishments and private offices remained closed due to the strike. Most of the public and private transport facilities also remained off the roads in response to Geelani's call. In some parts of the Valley, private vehicles could be seen plying the roads. The strike had no effect on functioning of schools and Government offices in the Valley.