K C Pant to work out modalities for talks
9 April 2001
The Indian Express
New Delhi: K C Pant, nominated by the Centre for a dialogue with various militant, secessionist and other groups in Jammu and Kashmir, will be holding talks with some state and Central Government officials to work out modalities for the process, sources said on Monday. These meetings will precede Pant's dialogue with the militants and secessionist outfits of the state, the sources said. In a major peace initiative in Kashmir, Government on April five announced its decision to embark on a political dialogue without any pre-conditions. Pant, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, will represent the Centre in the dialogue. The Centre's invitation for the dialogue covers a broad spectrum-the state Government, all political parties, NGOs, trade unions, social and religious bodies as also Kashmiri militant organisations desirous of peace. Replying to media queries here today on talks, Pant said "The dialogue is only a process and not an event in itself." On the past experience when talks between Hizbul Muhahideen and the Centre had failed last year because of an apparent media hype, Pant said he would prefer to remain silent on the issue. 'several newspapers have commented in their editorials that I should remain silent on the issue and I am a good citizen to follow the words of the press, which is an important institution of our country," he said.