DH News Service Srinagar:

Former chief minister and National Conference patron Dr Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir is the only viable solution to the vexed issue.

He was addressing a press conference here. “Various options are being floated at different levels for the solution of Kashmir issue. But autonomy is the best solution,” Dr Abdullah said.

He added that his party would continue its struggle for the autonomy. “When our party was ruling the state, we passed a resolution in the legislature demanding the autonomy. The resolution was forwarded to the Centre for consideration. The copy of the resolution will be handed over to Pakistan president Gen Pervez Musharraf by National Conference president Omar Abdullah during his visit to the neighbouring country next month,” Dr Abdullah said. Referring to the Prime Minister’s round table conference on Kashmir, he said ground work should have been done before holding the meet.

“Nobody knows about the agenda of the conference. Every thing has been done in a jiffy and I believe that in such a situation the whole exercise may turn out to be a meaningless one,” Dr Abdullah said. However, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti hailed the Prime Minister for convening the round table conference. She also unfolded the agenda her party is going to present in the round table conference.

Addressing a meeting at Pulwama, she said, “PDP will place a proposal before the Centre based on self sufficiency, economic reforms, handing over the interior security of state to local police, declaration of J&K as free trade zone and compensation to the state in lieu of Indus water Treaty besides concert policy for achieving long lasting and dignified peace.”

http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/feb222006/national180462006221.asp