Prime Minister urges political parties to listen to Kashmiri youth

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New Delhi, Aug.10 (ANI): Appealing to all groups to join the dialogue process and asking political parties to listen to the voice of Kashmiri youth, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday assured an all-party delegation that the government has taken a number of steps towards peace in Kashmir.

Expressing regret on the recent deaths in Kashmir and Ladakh, Dr Singh said: "I feel the pain of families who have lost lives in Kashmir."

"We have taken a number of steps towards peace in Kashmir" and "appeal to people of Kashmir to give peace a chance," said Prime Minister in the national capital.

Mentioning about the youngsters in Kashmir, the PM said: "Our Kashmir policy will focus on youth."

Stating that these youngsters have seen only violence in so many years in Kashmir, Dr. Singh said: "Our children need to study to have a future."

Saying that he feels the concerns of Kashmiris and the pain of youngsters protesting in the streets, Dr. Singh said: " We understand the people's sentiment on AFSPA" but also added: "We can't demoralise the forces."

The PM said that his government intends to work towards strengthening of democratic institutions in Kashmir. "We will strengthen democratic institutions in Kashmir."

Reminding everyone that there is a "need for consensus on Kashmir solution", he appealed to all parties to join the dialogue process.

"All parties will have to engage with youth. Parties need to hear the voice of the people," he said.

Admitting that the solution to problems of Kashmir is not that easy, Dr. Singh, however, conveyed Government's readiness to talk on all issues.

"I cannot say we have an easy solution to Kashmir, we are ready for talks on all issues," said Dr. Singh while adding: "People of Kashmir need to have trust in political solution."

""I believe we need a political solution that can address the feeling of alienation in the people, and we are ready for dialogue," he said.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to underline the faith of Kashmiris in the democratic system of the country, as he said: "People defied terrorism making it possible for us to focus on political issues."

But Dr. Singh said: "We can talk only when there is normalcy."

Meanwhile, the BJP stayed away from today's all party meet, and Jammu and Kashmir's main opposition party - the PDP - will reportedly meet the Prime Minister eparately. (ANI)

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