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Include separatists in dialogue process for Kashmir solution, Muft

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, Mar 26 (UNI) Stressing the need for the inclusion of all separatist groups in the dialogue process, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said ''an honourable solution'' to the Kashmir issue is not ''a distant dream'' now.

''Let us do ground work to include all the separatist groups and their leaders in the Roundtable Conference to be held in May here,'' Mr Sayeed said.

He sought cooperation from all the mainstream parties to bring the separatists to the negotiating table to make the Roundtable ''a grand success.'' Mr Sayeed also suggested constitution of a committee comprising legal luminaries, heads of Jammu, Kashmir universities and Islamic University of Science and Technology to hammer out broad contours of party's Self-Rule concept in order to ally apprehensions.

The concept will help to accommodate aspirations of all the regions of the state, Mr Sayeed, patron of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said.

While appreciating the positive response by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, the former chief minister said the time has come to harness the benefits of improved relations between the two neighbours.

He also appreciated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's suggestion of a peace treaty between India and Pakistan.

Mr Sayeed hoped that an honourable solution to Kashmir problem does not seem a distant dream, adding that Jammu and Kashmir would be the main beneficiary of improved Indo-Pak relations.

He said the PDP has always stressed converting Jammu and Kashmir into a peace bridge between the two countries. ''It seems to be taking a practical shape.'' Mr Sayeed hoped that Prime Minister's announcement of Free Trade across the LoC would be implemented at the earliest.

There was also a need to allow greater opportunities of travel between the two sides for citizens other than those belonging to divided families, Mr Sayeed said.

UNI BAS YA MSJ KN1803

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