Anantnag (J-K), Oct.28 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said he is ready to hold talks with all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir to find a political and a diplomatic solution of the issue.
Addressing a public rally here before inaugurating the railway section between Anantnag and Qazigund in Kashmir Dr. Singh said: Today, I want to reiterate that we are ready for talks with those people who want to restore peace, tranquility and development in Jammu and Kashmir. We want to take all sections of society of Jammu and Kashmir with us for the political and diplomatic solution of the Kashmir issue."
Dr. Singh also said that a friendship between India and Pakistan was in the interest of both the nations.
"There are moments in history when wrong decisions are taken the effects of which are felt for ages. I appeal to Pakistan government that it should carry forward the hand of friendship extended by us. It is in the interest of the people of both India and Pakistan," Singh said.
Dr. Singh urged Pakistan to keep all anti-India groups under control and not let its soil be used for terror activities.
"We would urge the Pakistan government to curb on all those elements which are inciting terror in India. If such elements are non-state actors, then also it is the duty of the government to wipe out their establishments and structures," Singh said.
Moderate faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), the main political separatist alliance in Kashmir, had held talks with the Centre in 2004, the first between the two sides since militancy began in 1989. The last round of Kashmir talks was held in May 2006.
Prime Minister Singh and the Hurriyat leaders had agreed to establish a system to discuss solutions to the dispute over Kashmir. But Hurriyat split in 2003 when hardliners headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani walked out after moderates decided to hold talks with New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi also addressed the public rally and said that the inauguration of rail link was a sign of development and prosperity in the state.
"Today a railway link from Anantnag to Qazigund will be inaugurated, which is a sign of development and prosperity of the state," said Sonia Gandhi.
The new railway section will link Anantnag with Qazigund, 18 kilometres away. This is the final portion of the railway project rom Qazigund to Baramulla in the valley. Rest of the line is already through. (ANI)