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Day before Kashmir visit, all-party meeting held in Delhi

New Delhi : Politicians set to visit Kashmir as part of an all-party delegation met here on Saturday to discuss the situation in the restive valley and the possibility of holding talks with people from various sections of society there.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting and also discussed the itinerary of the Kashmir visit that begins on Sunday.

The Home Minister-led all-party delegation is expected to meet political groups, trade union leaders, civil society members and individuals to discuss ways and means of restoring peace in the valley caught in an unending cycle of violence triggered by the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani.

The delegation comprises 28 MPs and some senior government officials. They include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, and MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

Normal life has remained disrupted in the Kashmir Valley for the last nearly two months amid recurring pro-freedom stone-throwing protests and counter-violence by security forces. At least 73 people, including two policemen, have been killed in the weeks of violence.