Third round of talks on Kashmir on April 24
13 April 2007
Indo-Asian News Service
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here Friday that the prime minister's third round table conference (RTC) on Kashmir would be held in New Delhi on April 24.Addressing a daylong convention of village elders, commonly known as 'nambardars' and 'chowkidars' here Friday, Azad said the decision was taken at a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday evening.Two round table conferences on Kashmir have already been held. However, the main opposition party, the National Conference, stayed away from the working groups framed by the prime minister on Kashmir. The separatists too chose to stay away from the RTCs saying they did not want to be among every 'Tom, Dick and Harry' invited for the conference.The National Conference has since returned to the working groups on the prime minister's assurance that human rights' violations would be brought to an end. The separatists were demanding individual space for themselves and didn't want to be clubbed together with leaders of different political parties, the intelligentsia and prominent social activists.Azad said the third RTC would discuss the recommendations of the working groups and provide yet another opportunity to representatives of political parties, ethnic groups and opinion leaders from all the three regions to deliberate upon all issues. This was a reference to the political parties, both mainstream and separatists, who skipped the first two RTCs.Azad said peace was imperative for the all-round development and prosperity of the state and that both the state and central governments had started a process of composite dialogue and RTCs were a part of this process.