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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Mufti for consensus on PDP’s self-rule formula
Srinagar, December 4
Former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has urged India and Pakistan to make use of the situation in the subcontinent as prevailing supportive environment offered an opportunity for peace and prosperity in the region.

Working group to discuss self-rule plea of NC, PDP 
Jammu, December 4
The working group of Centre for Jammu and Kashmir will meet at Delhi for the first time on December 12.

UN campaign for protection of heritage sites launched
Srinagar, December 4
UNESCO has launched a protection campaign here with focus on pooling of resources for the revival and protection of heritage sites. The issue was discussed here by Director UNESCO Minja Yang with various heads of departments yesterday.

Pak militant shot in ambush
Srinagar, December 4
Two persons, including a foreign militant, have been killed in separate incidents in Baramula district since yesterday.

213 Haj pilgrims leave for Jeddah7
Srinagar, December 4
Another batch of 213 Haj pilgrims, including 68 women, from Jammu and Kashmir left here for Jeddah in a special flight today.



 

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SAD(A) activists burn Thackeray’s effigy
Jammu, December 4
In continuation of the violent incidents at Tarn Taran, activists of the Akali Dal (A) burnt the effigy of the Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray here today.

Winged visitors throng wetlands
Hokersar Wetlands (Srinagar), December 4
Over five lakh winged foreign visitors have made the picturesque Kashmir valley their abode this winter, as plunging temperatures and freezing lakes in their native lands have compelled them to visit other places for safety.

 


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Mufti for consensus on PDP’s self-rule formula
Our Correspondent

Srinagar, December 4
Former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has urged India and Pakistan to make use of the situation in the subcontinent as prevailing supportive environment offered an opportunity for peace and prosperity in the region.

Mufti Sayeed, who arrived in New Delhi after his month long visit to the United States of America, called on Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh in New Delhi this morning to brief him about the visit. In addition to his engagements at the UN, where he had gone as head of the non-official Indian delegation, he briefed the Prime Minister on the meetings and interactions he had with US think-tanks and Kashmiri groups on the side-lines of his tour, a PDP spokesman here said. He added the Mufti during these interactions and discussions stressed the need for a consensus on PDP’s ‘self-rule’ formula as the most viable solution of the problem.

The Mufti told the Prime Minister today, that the Indo-Pakistan peace process catalysed by the Confidence Building Measures (CBM) had created conducive atmosphere for initiating measures for a lasting resolution of the Kashmir problem. He said the peace process in the sub-continent was irreversible. “It may move in fits and starts, but the direction is clear now,” he said and added the challenge was in not only sustaining the peace process but ensuring that it is insulated from the day-to-day setbacks that he had derailed it in the past.

The Mufti said a South Asian region free from friction emanated from the basic oneness of its people that could dominate all other considerations in an atmosphere of goodwill. “I visualise a space of dignity and opportunity for Jammu and Kashmir in that paradigm of friendship between India and Pakistan”, he said and reiterated the need for involving all shades of political opinion in the process to arrive at broad-based consensus. “There is a need for well-articulated views to emerge from the state that can form the basis of fruitful dialogue for a practical and solution of a problem,” the PDP patron said. He added the PDP was making an effort to fill this most critical gap to have convergence of views in the State.

The Prime Minister has appreciated Sayeed during his US visit underlining the need for peace, progress and prosperity in the sub-continent, the spokesman added

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Working group to discuss self-rule plea of NC, PDP 
S.P.Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 4
The working group of Centre for Jammu and Kashmir will meet at Delhi for the first time on December 12.

Mr. Justice Sagir Ahmad was recently appointed chairman of the crucial working group after Justice Ahmedi, former Chief Justice, refused to head it.

The contentious demands for autonomy and self-rule being raised by the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will be discussed in the working group that would have its subsequent meetings at Srinagar and here.

While the working group on Centre-state relations has yet to take off, the other four groups appointed by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, have already held a series of meetings and were finalising their reports.

It is to be seen whether the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq participates in the proceedings. The conglomerate has, however, boycotted the previous two round table conferences convened by the Prime Minister.

The NC had also announced that it would not participate in any of the working groups that were an outcome of the round table conference.

The former Chief Minister and PDP leader, Mufti Sayeed, is expected to return from abroad by that time to participate in the meeting along with his daughter Ms. Mehbooba Mufti.

The BJP has announced that it would not support any of the proposals that further distance Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the country. The party would oppose the proposals of autonomy and self-rule tooth and nail.

Dr Nirmal Singh, former state BJP chief, said the party would stress on removing the constitutional provisions that give an impression as if Jammu and Kashmir was not an integral part of India.

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UN campaign for protection of heritage sites launched
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 4
UNESCO has launched a protection campaign here with focus on pooling of resources for the revival and protection of heritage sites. The issue was discussed here by Director UNESCO Minja Yang with various heads of departments yesterday.

It also decided to launch awareness and partnership programmes among the people that needed to protect the heritage sites and the creation of knowledge banks for the same.

The Director UNESCO was here in connection with the Kashmir Heritage Day, organised in collaboration with the Peoples Empowerment Mission on Saturday. It was attended by the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Union Water Resources Minister Prof Saifuddin Soz.

Ms Yang pointed out in the meeting that Kashmir had rich heritage and various themes were to be developed under the umbrella whereby all sites could be preserved. Water bodies were considered as the live heritage points, while emphasis was also laid on taking appropriate steps to protect dying Anchar and Dal lakes here. The meeting discussed proper protection and preservation of Budhist sites at Harwan and other major heritage sites.

Ms Yang held that more emphasis was required for providing quality education to students and also reorient tourism structures in such a fashion so that it becomes heritage-oriented and knowledge bank of age-old civilisation. Emphasis was also laid on the protection of wetlands.

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Pak militant shot in ambush
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 4
Two persons, including a foreign militant, have been killed in separate incidents in Baramula district since yesterday.

The police here said it had achieved a major success with the killing of a foreign militant at Chandaji, Bandipore, in the wee hours today. Acting on a specific information, a CRPF team laid an ambush in Peethikoot Chandaji, Bandipore. The hiding militants fired on the ambush party leading to a fierce encounter. In this gun-battle a foreign militant, Gulbadan Khan from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, was killed.

This was a major achievement as the militant was involved in number of civilian and police killings. One Jawan of SOG Bandipore, Balraj Singh, was injured in the exchange of fire, the police said. Two hand grenades, one pistol and one pistol magazine were seized from the site of encounter.

Unidentified gunmen shot 20-year old Waseem Ahmad Zargarat Mir Sahab Baramulla today.

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213 Haj pilgrims leave for Jeddah7

Srinagar, December 4
Another batch of 213 Haj pilgrims, including 68 women, from Jammu and Kashmir left here for Jeddah in a special flight today.

The pilgrims were seen off at Srinagar airport by senior civil and police officials.

Only one Haj flight would be operated till December 9 when the additional 4,000 pilgrims would be airlifted to Jeddah.

About 10,674 pilgrims would be able to perform the Haj this year as compared to 9,200 in 2005. — UNI

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SAD(A) activists burn Thackeray’s effigy

Jammu, December 4
In continuation of the violent incidents at Tarn Taran, activists of the Akali Dal (A) burnt the effigy of the Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray here today.

However, this did not lead to any tension in the town as a group of the Akali Dal (A) activists gathered at Khalsa Chowk and burnt the effigy. Thereafter, they dispersed from there.

The meeting accused the BJP and the Shiv Sena, allies of the Shiromani Akali Dal, of indulging in such "cheap stunts" in view of the ensuing Assembly elections in Punjab. — TNS

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Winged visitors throng wetlands

Hokersar Wetlands (Srinagar), December 4
Over five lakh winged foreign visitors have made the picturesque Kashmir valley their abode this winter, as plunging temperatures and freezing lakes in their native lands have compelled them to visit other places for safety.

Abundance of natural food at the Hokersar wetlands, barely 17 km from Srinagar has been a favourite with migratory birds.

According to the wildlife officials, this year's avian arrival is expected to beat past recorded numbers.

"The Kashmir wetlands are an important chapter in the migration of birds. Whichever birds come here from Siberia or Northern Europe, they migrate here due to harsh winters, they come here for transition phase, as breeding is not generally done here. Most birds come here from Siberia, China, Europe, Central Asia and Southern America," says Rouf Zargar, Wetland Warden, Kashmir. — ANI 

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