Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
The Awami National Conference Saturday announced that will talk to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman K C Pant, who is the Centre's representative on the Jammu and Kashmir peace talks issue, only in the summer capital Srinagar.
"If the government sincerely wants to talk to
Kashmiris, Pant, instead of sitting in New Delhi,
should visit the state for holding talks," Ghulam
Mohammad Shah, former state chief minister and
ANC president told a news conference in Srinagar
after a working committee meeting of his party.
"I will not go to Delhi to talk to Pant. I have been
bitten several times by people in Delhi. I will
exchange my views with Pant only in Srinagar,"
"The ANC will have no objection or feel no hurdle to
exchange its views with Pant to solve Kashmir issue
peacefully, equitably, honourably, democratically and
The ANC, in a statement, however, said, "Talks initiated
for restoration of peace alone seem, knowingly or
unknowingly, an attempt to sabotage these talks at the
very first step. Every humanist heart and a
conscientious Kashmiri are in search of peace. Peace
for peace is meaningless unless the issue is not
addressed to be solved on permanent basis."
Shah told newsmen.
Despite his oft-repeated appeals for a tripartite
dialogue on Kashmir, Shah's ANC is chiefly seen as a
However during Saturday's press briefing, the former
chief minister declared, "I am neither pro-India nor
pro-Pakistani. I am for the complete independence of Jammu and
"The ANC would also like to call upon the majority
community of the state that, before giving any popular
verdict, they shall have to guarantee to the
minorities of the state that they will have equal
democratic, fundamental and human rights."
The Complete Coverage: The Ceasefire in Jammu & Kashmir
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