M A I N   N E W S

Pak proposals to be examined when received, says Patil
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 7
The Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, today said India would consider the new Kashmir formula of General Pervez Musharraf only after his proposals were officially forwarded here.

Mr Patil was talking to mediapersons after visiting Suchetgarh on the Indo-Pak border where he reviewed the situation and also the fencing that has been raised by the BSF. The Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of State for Home, Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal and the Centre’s interlocutor, Mr N.N. Vohra, accompanied Mr Patil during his visit here.

Mr Patil refused to comment on General Musharraf’s formula wherein he had suggested that India and Pakistan consider the option of identifying certain regions of Kashmir on both sides, demilitarise them and grant them independence or exercise joint control.

He said he did not want to create further confusion by reacting to the formula. However, he said the proposals could be looked into when these were forwarded to India.

Replying to a question whether the Centre would order an internal ceasefire in J&K, Mr Patil made it clear that what the security forces were doing by reacting to terrorist attacks was to protect the lives and property of innocent people. “We are not against anyone and our intention is not to indulge in bloodshed,” he said.

The Home Minister parried questions about the Hurriyat Conference and said it was for them to decide when they would come forward for a dialogue with the Centre. What was important was that the Centre had initiated the process of dialogue. We believe in goodwill democratic system and solving disputes through a dialogue, he said.

He said stress was being laid on people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan as it was the best process for building confidence between the two countries. Several delegations of students, artists and mediapersons have been exchanged in the past some time.

Earlier, Mr Patil during his visit to the border areas complimented the BSF personnel for completing the fencing on the border a year before the target and also saving money.

He announced that sensors would be installed on the border to check infiltration.

He went up to the “zero” line on the border and inspected the fencing. He also had an aerial review of the situation on the border. He said infiltration of ultras has decreased now.

A number of delegations, including those of the BJP, National Conference, Congress, PDP and trade called on him at the technical area of the Air Force station here and exchanged views about the situtation in the state.

The NC delegation led by Mr Ajay Sadhotra expressed concern over the “deteriorating” law and order situation in the state and alleged that the life and property of innocent people was not safe.

The BJP delegation led by Prof Nirmal Singh and consisting of Babu Parmanand, former Haryana Governor and Mr Chaman Lal Gupta, Former Union Minister, alleged that corruption and nepotism were flourishing under the Mufti-led coalition rule.

They alleged that the coalition government had failed to implement the election promises, including implementation of the Wazir Commission report. Public money was being ‘spent on a jumbo sized ministry’.

Mr R.C. Sharma, Minister of State for Revenue submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister for providing a special package for the border migrants and age relaxation during a special recruitment drive in the border areas.

Mr R.S. Chib, vice president of the PCC, demanded a special rehabilitation package for residents of the border areas. He also demanded an economic package for those farmers whose land had become inaccessible for cultivation due to fencing of the border.Back


NCP to induct new faces in ministry: Patil

Mumbai, November 7
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil said today both old and new faces would represent the party in the state Cabinet.

Talking to reporters at the party office here, Mr Patil, who is also the State NCP President, said proper balance would be maintained by inducting veterans and new faces. The NCP's share in the 43-member Council of Ministers is 24.

He said the NCP list was ''near-complete'' but refused to divulge whether the swearing-in of ministers would take place tomorrow. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is currently in Delhi to hold consultations with the Congress leadership on the ministry formation.

Earlier in the day, NCP leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar met the party's state unit leaders at the Sahaydri Guest House. Senior leaders Padamsinh Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal were among those who met him. — UNI

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