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Shun violence, PM tells extremists
October 28, 2003 15:43 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday asked extremist organisations in the northeast to shun the path of violence and announced a slew of measures to improve infrastructure and give a big push to the region's development.
"I appeal to the misguided organisations in this region, which have taken to the path of extremism and violence, to shun that path. The Centre is willing to hold talks with all those who are ready to give up the gun culture and take to the culture of dialogue and democracy," Vajpayee said while inaugurating the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima.
"Without peace there can be no private sector investment and thus no development. Without development there can be no employment," he said.
"There is no issue which cannot be resolved through long and patient dialogue. Our experience in Nagaland has shown this," the prime minister said.
Vajpayee said he is convinced that there is an overwhelming desire among the Naga people for permanent peace with honour and dignity. The Centre, he added, has an "equally strong desire for permanent peace in Nagaland based on a
lasting solution with honour and dignity for its people."
The prime minister regretted the blood shed in Nagaland in the decades gone by. "A lot of people suffered. The wheels of development stopped. Mistakes were committed," he said and added "now the time has come to leave the sad chapter of conflict and violence behind us."
He said rather than remaining tied to the past, "we have to take care of the present and look to the future."
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