Ahead of a crucial meeting of the Centre on Kashmir, state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A K Antony to seek their support on the partial withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state.
Sources said Omar had met Mukherjee late on Wednesday night at the latter's residence for about half-an-hour, during which the chief minister presented his case for withdrawal of the AFSPA. The finance minister is understood to have assured Omar of complete support of the Centre in dealing with the present situation.
The two leaders also discussed the political and economic situation in the Valley besides other law and order related issues. Before returning to the Kashmir Valley, the chief minister met with the defence minister and presented the case for partial withdrawal of the AFSPA.
While Omar stressed that the AFSPA should be withdrawn from areas where it has not been put to use at all, Antony is believed to have told the chief minister about the reservation of the Army for any amendment or partial withdrawal of the AFSPA from the state.
The meetings were part of the efforts of the chief minister for garnering support for the amendment or partial withdrawal of the AFSPA from at least four districts of the state, ahead of the crucial meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security slated for Friday.
Omar had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged him to introduce amendments in the AFSPA or its partial withdrawal from the state. He had also urged him to kick-start a political dialogue with the separatists at the earliest.