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Malik clarifies on meetings with PM
Srinagar, February 3
Putting to rest all speculations, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik has denied the reports of his meeting with Dr Manmohan Singh after his becoming the Prime Minister around 20 months ago.

NC accuses PDP of diluting Art 370
Jammu, February 3
The war between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) on the issue of self-rule in Jammu and Kashmir further intensified today when Mr Omar Abdullah, president of the NC, alleged that Article 370 providing a special status to the state was diluted the most when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was a minister in the Cabinet of Mr G.M. Sadiq.

6 terrorists surrender
Jammu, February 3
Six terrorists surrendered before the Army and the police at Nagrota, near here, today.

Tremor in Srinagar
Srinagar, February 3
A low-intensity tremor, measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale, shook the city and its adjoining areas this afternoon, a Met Department spokesman said here. The tremor, which had its epicentre in Budgam, was felt at 3.30 p.m. and shook houses in parts of the city.



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Malik clarifies on meetings with PM
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 3
Putting to rest all speculations, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik has denied the reports of his meeting with Dr Manmohan Singh after his becoming the Prime Minister around 20 months ago.

Malik said he had two meetings with Dr Manmohan Singh between 2001and 2003 as part of the efforts to pave the way for a dialogue process by involving all shades of opinion to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Talking to mediapersons at the party office here last evening, Malik said he had met Dr Manmohan Singh first in 2001 at the residence of Prem Shankar Jha, which was attended by the then senior Congress leader, Najma Heptullah.

The meeting, he said, continued for about four hours in view of the unilateral ceasefire in the holy month of Ramadan announced by the Vajpayee government.

He added that it was on the basis of such meeting that three senior Congress leaders — Dr Manmohan Singh, Arjun Singh and Natwar Singh — had met the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The second meeting, Malik said, took place at the residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in March, 2003 in which Dr Manmohan Singh had also been invited as senior party leader.

They discussed his suggestions to involve in dialogue process leaders form different shades of opinion, Malik claimed.

He added that the recent reports in the media sent wrong signals, which needed to be clarified and added that these reports were due to some “vested interests”.

The media reports had suggested that Malik and Sajjad Lone had met the Prime Minister as mentioned by Dr Manmohan Singh in one of his recent remarks.

The Prime Minister’s Office, however, made it clear on Thursday that it was possible that the PM would meet JKLF chief Yaseen Malik and other Kashmiri leaders in future.

Agency reports quoted PM’s Media Adviser Sanjay Baru clarifying the response of the Prime Minister to a question at the national press conference on Wednesday.

“This reference is to his meetings with various representatives of groups in Kashmir, including Malik, before he became the Prime Minister”, Baru was quoted.

However, reports about Malik’s meeting with Prime Minister had appeared several times during the past couple of weeks.

When asked about his response to any offer of talks with the Central Government, Malik said so far no invitation had come from the Centre.

“In case there is any invitation from the Centre, the JKLF will discuss it before taking any final decision”, Malik said.

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NC accuses PDP of diluting Art 370
Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 3
The war between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) on the issue of self-rule in Jammu and Kashmir further intensified today when Mr Omar Abdullah, president of the NC, alleged that Article 370 providing a special status to the state was diluted the most when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was a minister in the Cabinet of Mr G.M. Sadiq.

Mr Abdullah, who was talking to mediapersons here, accused the PDP of changing stand on vital issues pertaining to the state from time to time. He also accused the Centre of trying to complicate the Kashmir issue.

He said the Mufti should come out with a statement if he played any role to prevent erosion of the special status of the state during Sadiq’s regime.

The NC chief said yesterday’s advertisement of the PDP on the issue of self-rule was an effort to hide the division within the party on the matter. The party was reportedly divided in to three camps on the issue. The Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Muzaffar Baig, who had a couple of days ago said there was no need of self-rule in the state as it was being ruled by elected representatives, was made to insert a signed advertisement in local newspapers, he alleged.

Mr Abdullah pointed out that there were certain factual errors in the advertisement and were a deliberate attempt to mislead the people.

He reiterated the NC’s demand for restoration of internal autonomy. He also made it clear that the NC would not come in the way of a more workable solution that gets hammered out of a dialogue between India and Pakistan and the people of the state.

Mr Abdullah said demilitarisation should not be demanded for this side of Kashmir. It should be done in all parts that were a part of Kashmir in 1947 and more so in the northern areas that were occupied by Pakistan.

He said in case both countries agreed to demilitarise their respective areas; a workable beginning could be made from the Siachen Glacier. He added that before holding the second round of talks with separatists the Centre should make public the progress made in the first round.

The NC chief said the Centre should clarify the basis on which it was selecting separatist leaders for talks.

Besides, he demanded that the CBI should be asked to probe the alleged bungling in the distribution of relief to the victims of the earthquake.

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6 terrorists surrender
Tribune News Service & UNI

Jammu, February 3
Six terrorists surrendered before the Army and the police at Nagrota, near here, today.

The ultras have been identified as Mohammad Ashraf Baba (24), Mohammad Sultan (25), Aijaz Ahmed (18), Jahangir Ahmed Wani (20), Sunawala Mir (20) and Mohammad Altaf (25).

These terrorists were undergoing training in Pakistan where they were contacted through a surrendered militant who assured them of safety.

SRINAGAR: The security forces gunned down three militants and arrested one in Jammu and Kashmir overnight, an official spokesman said in Srinagar today.

He said the security forces killed two militants in an encounter at Karyote village under Thanamandi police station last night. The encounter ensued after a search party was attacked by the militants.

Two AK rifles, five magazines, one wireless set, one hand grenade and two IEDs were recovered from the slain militants.

Another militant of the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) Abu Hamza, a Pakistan national, was killed by the security forces at Marwah today. An AK rifle and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain militant.

The police busted two hideouts at Alai village and seized one mobile phone and one sleeping bag last night. However, no one was arrested.

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Tremor in Srinagar

Srinagar, February 3
A low-intensity tremor, measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale, shook the city and its adjoining areas this afternoon, a Met Department spokesman said here. The tremor, which had its epicentre in Budgam, was felt at 3.30 p.m. and shook houses in parts of the city.

However, there were no reports of damage to life or property, he said. — PTI

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