Centre ready for talks with hardcore terrorists: Azad

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Jammu, Mar 16: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said today that the Centre was ready for talks with all factions, including the breakaway Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, but stressed that an end to the ongoing violence was an essential precondition.

Mr Azad, while replying to questions in the Legislative Assembly and a volley of supplementaries, said that Mr Geelani had been invited to the round table conference held in Delhi but did not attend. However, he is invited for the second phase of the round table conference which is to be held at Srinagar, and this time, he must utilise the opportunity to put forth his view point.

Even the Prime Minister is ready to talk to him separately, he added.

The CM appealed to all the terrorists and the underground outfits to shun violence and join the peace process as nothing can be achieved by holding guns and killing the innocent people as well as attacking security personnel.

Mr Azad said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already instructed the Home Ministry to formulate the list of those detainees who were not involved in henious crimes and release them.

The list is expected to be ready by March 30 this year. To a supplementry, he clarified that there were no political detainees in the jails and those behind bars were involved in terrorist-related activities.

He appreciated President Musharraf for the positive change in his mindset with regard to Kashmir, and understanding the ground realities and misery the people of the state had been going through for last 16 years due to the terrorist activities.


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