Shun violence for peace talks, says Indian PM


Srinagar : A day after declaring he was ready to embrace anyone to win peace in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday asked separatists to give up the gun and begin a dialogue.

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“Violence must end in Jammu and Kashmir. We are willing to carry all stakeholders with us. We need to end all the violence to begin a dialogue,” Manmohan Singh told reporters here at the end of his two-day visit to the state.

Asked about Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s justification of the gun, Manmohan Singh smiled and said: “One should not read too much into statements made in anger. I still hope that all those who have the good and well being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their heart will respond favourably to my appeal.

“We are willing to engage in serious discussions with every group provided they shun the path of violence,” he said.

Stating that the era of violence and terrorism was coming to an end, Manmohan Singh had Wednesday said in Srinagar: “I wish to say again today that we are willing to talk to anyone who has any meaningful ideas for promoting peace and development in Kashmir. We want to carry all sections of the people with us in resolving the political and economic problems of Jammu and Kashmir.”

On Oct 25, Manmohan Singh said on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Thailand that he had had two or three rounds of talks with the Hurriyat, whose leaders had promised to revert. “I am waiting for them.”