Indo-Pak talks elicit mixed reactions from J-K

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Srinagar, May 21 : The ongoing India-Pakistan peace talks have elicited mixed reactions from political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to an All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leader, the talks between the two countries would be incomplete without the participation of Kashmiris in it.

"The talks between India and Pakistan will not be fruitful till they take Kashmiris into confidence," said Moulvi Abas Ansari, Chairman of the APHC.

On the other hand, Omar Abdullah, the Chief of the National Conference Party (NCP), has expressed happiness and confidence over External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Pakistan.

"Mukherjee has gone to Islamabad after the formation of a new government there, and so he will get a chance to gauge the situation in Pakistan. He will also get a chance to see what attitude the new government of Pakistan has towards Kashmir and other issues between the two countries," said Abdullah.

Mukherjee's visit to Pakistan is the first high-level contact between the two countries since the newly formed democratic government assumed office in Islamabad after securing victory in the February 18 general elections.

Although Mukherjee has said that his trip to Pakistan is a goodwill visit and he is not going with any fixed agenda or expectation, the All India Radio has said that cross border terrorism, peace and security and growing incidents of infiltration will be high on the agenda.

No major breakthroughs are expected on their main dispute over Kashmir, but Pakistani analysts hope the talks might set the stage for a visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The two neighbours launched peace efforts in 2004 after nearly going to war a fourth time.

While ties have warmed, the two sides have made no significant progress on their dispute over Kashmir, a region to which both have staked a claim.

ANI

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