Srinagar, April 3: Overturning its earlier stand, the National Conference today said it is willing to talk to the Centre’s interlocutor, N.N. Vohra, about granting greater autonomy to the state.
Party president Omar Abdullah, however, said he did not believe Vohra would be able to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Earlier, party general secretary Sheikh Nazir Ahmad vowed that it “would not engage in any dialogue with the new Central pointman” because the Vohra mission was a “bureaucratic exercise which would yield nothing”. But Abdullah said: “We will talk to Vohra on the issue of greater autonomy to the state, but he is not going to resolve the Kashmir issue.”
He castigated chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for abdicating “the responsibility of law and order to the Centre”.
The People’s Democratic Party and the Congress, successfully “sold emotional issues like disbanding the controversial Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police and non-implementation” of the anti-terror legislation.
Abdullah took the opportunity to announce changes in the party at the provincial level and hinted that district presidents would also be shuffled.
Mehboob Beg is the new party provincial president for the Kashmir region and Ajay Sadhotra, former rural development minister, will be Beg’s Jammu counterpart.