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PM invites Hurriyat for talks
August 31, 2005 14:21 IST
Last Updated: August 31, 2005 15:34 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other leaders for talks in New Delhi on September 5.
This will be the first interaction between Jammu and Kashmir's moderate separatist group and the United Progressive Alliance dispensation as part of the dialogue process.
"The prime minister has invited Hurriyat vhairman and other leaders for talks," the prime minister's media adviser Sanjaya Baru said.
Singh has been maintaining that he was ready to hold talks with any group that eschewed violence. The prime minister's office has been in touch with the Kashmiri leaders through various interlocutors for quite some time now.
The Hurriyat had held two rounds of talks with the then Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani in the National Democratic Alliance government in 2004.
In the wake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invitation, the Hurriyat Conference is meeting in Srinagar on Thursday to discuss the talks. "We have accepted the invitation in principle and we will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the agenda and delegation for the talks," Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq told Press Trust of India over phone from Srinagar.
He refused to divulge whether the invitation was verbal or written. Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat team was expected in the capital on Sunday. This will be for the first time that Hurriyat leaders would be meeting the prime minister after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government came to power.