Minister of State for Home Affairs I D Swami who
told rediff.com a couple of days back that the
government might call off the cease-fire in Jammu and
Kashmir, made a complete U-turn and spoke in favour of its
"When I told you that the cease-fire might be called off, it was my personal
view. But K C Pant (the government interlocutor) is holding talks with various militant factions and other groups and trying to bring peace in the state," Swami told rediff.com on Friday morning.
However, home ministry sources say that Union Home Minister L K Advani had a talk with Swami after the latter made the statement and forced him to change his stance.
Pant, also reportedly took up the matter with the Prime Minister's Office as he did
not want any negative signals before his trip to Kashmir, scheduled for early next week. Pant is also preparing an economic package for Kashmir and in this respect he has had talks with
representatives of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the I-T industry to try and persuade them to invest in Kashmir.
Advani and Defence Minister Jaswant Singh will be visiting Srinagar on Saturday to take stock of the situation. They will also hold talks with Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah who is reportedly opposed to the cease-fire extension. A final decision is expected only after they return to Delhi and speak to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Top ranking government officials indicate that if the cease-fire is extended it would be for at least a couple of months.
The Complete Coverage: The J&K cease-fire
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