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PDP and National Conference agree on J&K autonomy
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November 16, 2005 18:58 IST

People's Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said restoration of pre-1953 position in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] would be the biggest confidence-building measure for the people of the state, a demand strongly voiced by the previous National Conference government.

Addressing a joint press conference with N C leader Omar Abdullah and Hurriyat Conference Chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on the sidelines of the Hindustan Times Summit, she said, "If India considers Jammu and Kashmir as its head, I wonder where is the crown of this head given by later Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. "Where is the crown, which was there before 1953. Restore that and you will see the increase of confidence of the people of the state towards New Delhi," Mehbooba said while answering to a question as to how Kashmir could be separated when Indians considered it the head of the country.

After she finished her reply, Omar Abdullah said, "Finally, the stand of my party stood vindicated that the answer to the Kashmir problem could be found in granting a greater autonomy." Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said he would not like to join the issue of whether greater autonomy was an answer or not but was happy that Omar and Mehbooba also agreed that the Kashmir issue needed to be resolved. 

The Mirwaiz said the plan presented by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] of de-militarisation of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir was also one of the viable options for resolution of the issue.


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