PM: Govt Knows J&K Has Genuine Grievances4 March 2011
The Indian Express
Jammu: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said that his government “recognised that there are genuine political, social and emotional grievances of the people” of Jammu and Kashmir and is working to address them. “We are trying honestly to address these issues,” he said, adding that the visit of an all-party delegation to the state last year was intended to bring about a national consensus on some of the important problems of the state. “There is no way forward, but sustained dialogue and resolution of all problems under a constitutional framework, which I believe has the flexibility to accommodate honourable and durable solutions for all,” he added. Addressing the third convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) at Jammu University, the Prime Minister also said that India has decided to resume talks with Pakistan with an open mind on all issues including Jammu and Kashmir. “Despite all the problems, we have decided to resume the dialogue process,” Singh said, referring to his recent statement in Parliament that the sub-continent will not realise its full development potential unless relations between India and Pakistan were normalised. “We will enter these talks with an open mind,” he added. “We wish to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries through friendly dialogue and constructive and purposeful negotiations. And this includes the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Assuring the people of the state that his government would always keep their interests on mind, he said, “We are willing to discuss all issues that have a bearing on the peace, dignity and well-being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” However, Singh also asked Pakistan to take action against the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attack. “Having said that, we cannot forget what happened in Mumbai,” he said, urging Pakistan to bring the culprits to book. Pointing out that the activities of extremist groups in Pakistan were a source of concern, the Prime Minister said that he believed there was a growing conviction in that country that something serious needs to be done to curb the influence of these groups. “I urge Pakistan to take strong and resolute action against these groups that is in the interest of Pakistan, the region and the world at large,” he said.