Reuter - SrinagarReuse content
The National Conference Party, the largest pro-India party in Kashmir, won a sweeping majority in the first local elections in the state since a separatist revolt began in 1990, and quickly offered an olive branch to rebels. The party, led by former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, won 54 seats in the 87-member assembly. Mr Abdullah, who has lambasted separatists as Pakistani agents, offered to meet leaders of the All-Parties Hurriyat (freedom) Conference, which bands separatist groups. Mr Abdullah was chief minister when the separatist rebellion erupted. More than 20,000 people have died during the revolt, most in Kashmir.