New Delhi Holds Out An Olive Branch To Kashmir Separatists

6 June 2008

Srinagar: Union Minister for Water Resources Professor Saifuddin Soz has called upon Kashmiri separatists to come to the negotiation table, saying there was no other way out. 'I don't classify them as Hurriyat 'A' or Hurriyat 'B'. All the organizations that want to help people, want peace in Jammu and Kashmir and want a solution of the issue. I just want to say that that there is no other way than dialogue. Dialogue is the only a solution, and doors for which are always open,' Soz said. Soz added that New Delhi was always ready for negotiations on the issue. The All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference (APHC) had boycotted the third roundtable on Kashmir, presided by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi last year. However, the separatists seemed to be in no mood to heed the call, saying they would boycott the upcoming state assembly elections this year. 'All political parties want to drag away majority of Jammu and Kashmir from Islam and want to impose other traditions on them So, in any way, we will not have to vote for them, support them and even participate in their rallies,' Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman of breakaway faction of the APHC said in Sopore. The roundtable on Kashmir is separate from the comprehensive dialogue process between India and Pakistan, which includes the Kashmir dispute.