There Is No Way Other Than Dialogue: Mufti
20 October 2004
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Reporting an improvement in the security and political situation in his state, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Tuesday said that the growing urge for peace in the state had left separatists with no option other than coming forward for talks. There is no way other than dialogue. Nobody can spurn the offer of talks,' he told reporters when asked about the status of talks planned between the Centre and Hurriyat Conference. The Chief Minister said people in the state were yearning for peace and the decade-old militancy had left their lives shattered. 'For last four or five months, there has been an improvement and it has made an impact,' Sayeed said after a 30-minute long meeting with Home Minister Shivraj Patil. 'An atmosphere has to be built and the internal dimension of the Kashmir issue has to be addressed in totality. I am of the opinion that once the dialogue offer is made, no one can spurn it,' he said. The improving relations with Pakistan would definitely address the external dimensions of the Kashmir issue and 'we hope that the situation will improve very soon.' 'There is no problem in the situation or atmosphere but.' Sayeed said without elaborating in response to a question whether the atmosphere was not conducive for the talks with separatist groups.