June 2004 News

Patil ready to 'reward' moderate J&K leaders

17 June 2004
The Hindu

New Delhi: The Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, today said that he was prepared to 'reward' moderate separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir to persuade other groups to talk to the Centre. But this would not mean a softening of attitude towards terrorism or a reversal of the previous NDA Government's strategy. In an interview on the BBC's Hardtalk India programme, the Home Minister said that it was important to talk to the people in Kashmir and persuade them that these issues are handled in a just manner. 'We will try to see how there is a meeting of minds between the two sides and we will try to resolve the problem through talks. But that is not the only thing. We will have to do some other things also. An economic package will help them. Providing employment to the people will help them,' he said. Asked whether he would reward moderate leaders forpersuading other people to talk to the Government, Mr. Patil said 'definitely' but did not elaborate on the 'reward.'


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