Centre not averse to include Pak in Kashmir talks: Pant
16 May 2001
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: The Centre has said it is not averse to engaging Pakistan in meaningful talks on Jammu and Kashmir and expects that Islamabad would cooperate and initiate measures that would facilitate the process. This has been conveyed by the Centre's interlocutor on Kashmir K.C.Pant in a letter to Shabir Ahmad Shah, leader of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) whose executive considered the letter and reserved its comments. Taking note of Shah's discussions with persons from different regions in the state and viewpoints reflecting the pluralistic ethos of Kashmiriyat, Pant said the government was also keen to understand the views of all sections. The letter was made public on Wednesday by Mohammad Abdullah Tari, JKDFP secretary general, who told reporters that the Kashmir issue was delicate and the party needed enough time to react to Pant's communication. Pant wrote the letter in response to Shah's communication seeking clarifications from the interlocutor on certain issues. "Government of India is not averse to engaging Pakistan in meaningful talks on J&K and is hopeful that the country will cooperate with India and initiate measures that would facilitate the process," Pant said in the letter.