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Updated: November 5, 2009 21:07 IST

Farooq asks Chidambaram to review ban on pre-paid mobile services in J&K

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Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah. File photo: Mohammed Yousuf
The Hindu Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah. File photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah told Home Minister P. Chidambaram to reconsider the continuation of the ban on pre-paid mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir when Mr. Chidambaram concluded his day-long visit to the State on Wednesday night, officials said.

According to official sources, Mr. Abdullah raised the issue during an informal chat with Mr. Chidambaram on Wednesday evening.

Mr. Abdullah said the ban on pre-paid services had created anger across the State.

At a press conference here, the Home Minister said the ban would stay because of security reasons and that security could not be compromised.

Mr. Chidambaram shared with Mr. Abdullah some of the reasons why the ban had been put into effect in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Minister was clear that there were compelling reasons for the home ministry to implement this step, which he called a “considered decision”.

He said that the “alarmist picture” by the media was not helping anyone.

On the issue of dialogue with separatists, Mr. Chidambaram made it clear that it would be with all sections of people in the state. “No one will be left out,” he said.

Mr. Chidambaram’s statement clearly implied that the government would not hold talks with the separatists only but with mainstream parties as well.

He told Congress workers that the mainstream view was important as parties like the Congress, National Conference and Peoples’ Democratic Party had fought elections and had got substantial endorsement of their programmes from voters.


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