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PDP to elect party president on Feb 22

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Mehbooba visits slain cop's home in Anantnag, pitches for Indo-Pak dialogue

Srinagar: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will hold elections to the post of the party president on Monday, 22nd of February, 2021.

In a statement here, a party spokesperson said that the members of the Electoral College from Kashmir and Jammu provinces will vote to elect the party president on Monday.

The three year term of Mehbooba Mufti as the party president ended on October 31 last year but fresh elections couldn’t be held due to COVID 19 pandemic and prevailing situation in J&K, the spokesperson said.

For smooth conduct of the elections, the party’s election board has appointed Surinder Choudhary as the returning officer for Jammu whereas Satpal Singh Carak has been appointed as observer. In Srinagar, the proceedings would be conducted by chairman election board, A R Veeri, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a day after three policemen were killed in militancy incidents, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Saturday asked the Centre to start a dialogue with Pakistan and also engage the local public to ensure there is no violence in the union territory.

The PDP president visited Logripora Aishmuqam area in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district to express her sympathies with the bereaved family of J&K Police Constable Suhail Ahmad who was killed in the militant attack in Baghat area of the city on Friday.

Besides Ahmad, another police personnel lost his life in the Baghat attack. Separately, a policeman died during an encounter with militants in Budgam district during the day. Three militants were also killed in a gunfight with security forces at Badigam in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Friday.

Speaking to reporters after her visit, Mehbooba asked the Centre to hold talks with Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir, saying the government must think for how long the people of J&K, its policemen and youth will continue to sacrifice their lives.

“This (the Kashmir issue) is a huge issue and this issue should be resolved so that the bloodshed in J&K stops and the people here live in peace,” she said.

Talking about Ahmad, she said, “He has (left behind) two small children. His father was also killed when he was just four years old. What will they do?”

The former chief minister said at the least, a dialogue should be started to stop violence in the union territory.

“The BJP government should think and start the process of dialogue, so that the bloodshed is stopped. Our graveyards have become full,” she said.

“They should start the dialogue process – be it (with the people) here or with Pakistan because they often say that Pakistan perpetrates violence here. At least, the dialogue process can be started to stop the violence,” she told reporters.

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