`It will help in pushing forward the peace process'
NEW DELHI: The People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday said the mechanism announced by the Centre would address all concerns raised by his party including the need for gradual withdrawal of troops from civilian areas, vacation of private and public properties occupied by the security forces and repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
"The Centre has responded to the aspirations of the people, and the mechanism will help in pushing forward the peace process and at the same time address internal issues also," he told reporters after the Prime Minister's Office announced setting up of three committees to "examine some of the problematic aspects of the current situation."
The Mufti met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the third time in the past 10 days before the mechanism was formally announced here. "The issue has been resolved amicably, honourably and gracefully by the Prime Minister and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi," he said.
The Mufti said the PDP president had directed Ministers in the coalition Government to attend the Cabinet meetings from Saturday. "The coalition Government will start functioning normally with immediate effect, though there are some differences which would also be ironed out," he said. Seeking to play down the threat of pulling out of the coalition, if his party's demands were not accepted, he said, "Past is past. Let us look to the future."
To questions on no political representation in the committee and no timeframe having been set for the mechanism to give its recommendations, he said analysing troop deployment was the job of experts and not politicians. As for the timeframe, he said he had no doubt that the report would be submitted at the earliest as committed by the Government. "The Defence Secretary is a busy man and it would not be proper to insist on a timeframe."