February 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India
snowfall hits normal life, 5,000 stranded
ready for talks
Heavy snowfall hits normal life, 5,000 stranded
The snowfall, the heaviest in eight years, plunged the Valley in darkness snapping electric wires. Telecommunication links with the rest of the country were cut off for nearly six hours, official sources said.
The 300-km-long Jammu and Kashmir National Highway, the only surface link between the Valley and the rest of the country remained closed for traffic as one to five feet of snow accumulated at a number of places stranding around 5,000 people in about 850 vehicles, they said.
The Border Roads Organisation which started clearing the roads of the snow could not succeed due to fresh snowfall this afternoon at Patnitop, Batote, Banihal and Qazigund.
Air links with the state also remained suspended with the runway at Srinagar airport buried under snow. Airport sources said efforts were on to clear the runway and the Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Delhi flights may resume later today. PTI
Hurriyat ready for talks
Delhi, February 8
“We are open to negotiations which are aimed at resolving the Kashmir dispute and not discussing the issue as a law and order problem as desired by the Centre’s interlocutor K. C. Pant,” founder Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, told PTI here.
He said if the Centre was serious about resolving the dispute once for all with concerted efforts, the Hurriyat Conference would be much happy to join a negotiation.
Asked about the formation of a new “election commission,” the Mirwaiz said, “Efforts are going on and we have been discussing the issue with some of the diplomatic corps here.”
The Hurriyat team comprising him and Abdul Gani Lone have been meeting a host of European Ambassadors and High Commissioners besides interacting with the diplomatic staff of Britain, France and Germany.
Mirwaiz also attended a breakfast meeting with Pakistani High Commissioner Ashraf Jehangir Qazi today. “It was a routine meeting where we discussed the present situation in the valley and formation of election commission,” the former Chairman said.
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