NC Demands Greater Autonomy to J&K
Ruling National Conference today sought "greater autonomy" to Jammu and Kashmir after Opposition PDP said it will continue to press for its demand of "self rule" to the state.

"National Conference firmly stands on its autonomy demand and welcomes the initiatives taken by the union government by constituting interlocutors to interact with all shades of opinion in the state," NC patron and Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said today after the party's Central Working Committee meeting here.

"We are for the interaction of the interlocutors with the separatists so that their view point is also registered," Abdullah said as he expressed hope that the recommendations of the interlocutors would be presented in the Parliament soon for discussion.

Earlier during the day, Opposition PDP in its one-day working committee meeting said the party will continue to work towards "self-rule", which will be the "guiding vision" for the solution to Kashmir issue.

On demands to revoke AFSPA in the state, Abdullah said "the decision on revocation will have to be recommended as per the security situation that exists in the state".

"I think Unified Command Meeting (UCM) under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is looking into this. I am sure when they finalise, it will go," he said, adding that at some places where situation has improved bunkers of security forces have been removed.

"Like Srinagar and Budgam and many areas, where we feel security situation have improved, this can easily be removed. If you remove Disturbed Area Act, that (AFSPA) does not exist," he said.

The union minister said NC's CWC decided to support "genuine candidates" in the panchayat elections and to help in creating effective Panchayati Raj system in the state.

He said NC will continue its work to strengthen democratic institutions and will bring accountability and transparency in the governance.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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