September 2001 News

PM ready to talk with any group on Kashmir

4 September 2001
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR : The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, is ready to talk with any group on Kashmir as only negotiations can help in resolving the issue . The Babri masjid issue will also be resolved amicably as Mr. Vajpayee is continuing his efforts in that direction. This was stated by the Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, who is now on a visit to Kashmir. He regretted that youth in Kashmir were getting killed instead of benefiting the country with their talent. No problem could be solved through the gun, he said adding that those who claimed to be the representatives of people were not ready to come to the negotiating table. ''They were complaining to us but want to talk to Pakistan,'' he said in an obvious reference to the Hurriyat Conference. Kashmir had always been a symbol of secularism, communal brotherhood and peace. The Minister said Islam was the religion of peace and amity and the BJP Government was committed to peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the Ayodhya issue should not end in enmity but in friendship. ''Our Government does not want to impose any decision on any community,'' he said adding that efforts in that direction were on. ''I hope an amicable settlement to both the communities will come up soon.'' The Minister said ''the country can only prosper when Muslims are given the due share''. It was the BJP Government which had conferred Bharat Ratna on Ustad Bismillah Khan and Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, he added.


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