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Mehbooba calls for safe passage to Kashmir leaders

New Delhi, February 03, 2008:

The president of the ruling ally Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Indian administered Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti has urged the Indian prime minister to give a safe passage to political leaders who have crossed over to Pakistan administered Kashmir during the late eighties and afterwards, a party statement said today.

Mufti who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday evening said that New Delhi should facilitate the return of political leaders who had gone across ceasefire line when anti-India insurgency broke out in early eighties.

Earlier, the PDP used to stress for the safe passage of the youth who had crossed over the LoC for arms training and wanted to return to their homes.

"Any relief to the youth who had gone across for arms training and are eager to return now should be extended to the non-combatants as well," she told the Indian prime minister.

"It will be a significant goodwill gesture and a reconciliatory move of great essence on behalf of the Government of India," she said.

Mufti told the prime minister that given the fast-changing equations in the sub-continent, fresh initiatives must be taken to bring various shades of the State's political opinion on board to work-out a broad-based consensus for the peaceful resolution of the issue.

"The Government of India will be well-devised to realise this historical opportunity and expressively involve Hurriyat Conference and other political groups in meaningful deliberations for realistic and just resolution of the problem," she said.

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