JK: Shun violence, come for talks, reiterates PM

Written by: Samyuktha
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Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Sep 15: Making the opening remarks at the crucial all-party meeting at his residence on the Kashmir crisis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterated the offer of dialogue while calling for peace from protesters.

Dr Singh said that dialogue is the only route to lasting peace in the Kashmir valley, which has been hit by severe violence over the past three months.

He, however, stressed that talks would be "meaningful" only "in an atmosphere free from violence".

"Discussions can take place only if we have calm and public order," he said.

Appealing to the people of Kashmir to shun violence, the PM said, "The Central and State Governments have already appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the youth, to eschew violence. I reiterate that appeal. We are ready for dialogue with anybody or any group that does not espouse or practice violence."

By asserting the government's stand, the PM set the tone for the meeting attended by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), PDP, among other regional parities.

The government, which aims at achieving a consensus on a solution to the Kashmir violence and the issue of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), has a tough task as the BJP is against the dilution of the Act.

The PDP, on the other hand, is expected to attack the state government led by Omar Abdullah on the circle of violence in the valley.

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