March 2006 News

PM Ready To Talk To Geelani Separately: Azad

15 March 2006
The Indian Express

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today invited the hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to participate in the second roundtable conference on Kashmir in May saying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is ready to talk to him separately.'The next round table conference will be held in May this year in Srinagar and I extend an open invitation to political parties, militants, underground and over ground organisations for the resolution of Kashmir issue,' Azad told the Assembly during Question Hour. 'Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is ready to talk to the hardline separatist leader (Geelani) even if he likes to talk separately,' he said. 'The issue of Kashmir cannot be settled in isolation in jungles and we have to interact and find out the settlement across the table,' the Chief Minister maintained. He said other organisations, which missed the first roundtable, would be persuaded to attend the May round. However, militants will have to shun violence in order to participate in dialogue process, he said. Congratulating Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for the positive change in his stance with regard to Kashmir issue, Azad said the change is noteworthy and appreciable and deserves commendation from all.


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