February 2000 News

Involve separatists in Kashmir talks: Kar

10 February 2000
Indian Express

JAMMU: Former Pradesh Congress Committee president Ghulam Rasool Kar has said that the Centre must talk to the people of the state, including the All Party Hurriyat Conference leaders, to solve the Kashmir issue.

Addressing mediapersons here on Wednesday, Kar said, "Under the changed scenario we should also give a chance to the jailed people by releasing them. They should be brought back to the national mainstream for the revival of democratic system."

He also mooted the idea of associating the separatist leaders in finding out a solution to the Kashmir problem. People like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Prof Gani and Javed Mir against whom there are no serious charges except issuing calls for boycott of elections be released and associated in talks for ending the crisis, he added.

Kar said former prime minister P V Narsimha Rao had said everything less than azadi was acceptable to the Government of India for resolving the issue. It is high time the Centre discussed the issue with the people of thestate as guns are no solution to the problem, he added.

Asked as to how different his approach to the issue is from that suggested by Jammu & Kashmir People's Democratic Party president Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Kar said, "Mufti suggests dialogue with militants. I favour talks with Indians who have not taken to gun."

Criticising Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for taking a unilateral decision on autonomy, Kar said the Farooq government should have involved all the opposition parties in the state to discuss the issue.


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