May 2007 News

Call to involve militant leaders in peace process

16 May 2007
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: The People's Democratic Forum (PDF) and CPI (M) have advocated talks with militant leaders, including the Hizbul Mujahideen chief Salahuddin, to find an amicable solution to the Kashmir problem. At a public meeting in central district Budgam, PDF chairman and Transport Minister Hakim Mohammad Yasin and CPI(M) State secretary M.Y. Tarigami underlined the need to hold a dialogue with the militants, particularly the Hizbul Mujahideen. 'No solution is possible until talks are held with the militants who are part of the conflict situation,' said Mr. Yasin. The peace process between India and Pakistan was also necessary and it had its own meaning. 'But to address the internal dimension, it is important to involve the militants, particularly Salahuddin, who holds the key to any situation in Kashmir,' he said. Joint decision Mr. Yasin said that the 2002 elections in the State heralded a change and any step taken by the coalition after that was a joint decision. 'No individual or a party can claim credit for that.' He asked parties not to say one thing while in power and another when out of it. He accused the PDP of hoodwinking the public and exploiting people's sentiments on the issue of demilitarisation. Mr Yasin and Mr Tarigami have of late joined an 'undeclared front' with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad against coalition ally PDP. Mr Yasin praised Mr. Azad and said that his credible position as a leader at the Centre had helped to further strengthen the Centre-State relations. 'It was because of him that we could get liberal funding from Centre,' he said. Focus on security Mr Tarigami said that the PDF and the CPI(M) were working for the security and honour of the people. 'We do not want graveyards... we want peace for the people,' he said. Those exploiting the people's sentiment should be taught a tough lesson. The Government should measure up to the expectation of the people. 'Our priorities are well defined.'


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