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PM's Kashmir remarks misunderstood: Patil
February 27, 2006 15:24 IST
The talks with people of Jammu and Kashmir were in the larger interest of peace and harmony in the state, and issues like autonomy and self-rule were among the agenda during the recent round table conducted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil told Rajya Sabha on Monday.
"The members should not go by newspaper reports alone because a lot many other issues were also discussed," he said, adding that the talks did not centre on autonomy and self-rule but it was a meeting with people from all regions -- Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Leh and Ladakh.
"We are hearing all views and none should find fault for hearing because it was necessary to use the elasticity provided by the Constitution to benefit people from all regions, religions and communities because you cannot achieve social harmony through the power of the gun but through winning the hearts," Patil noted.
Noting the presence of extremist elements in the round table talks chaired by Dr Singh, Joshi said that the main issue was to stop cross-border terrorism in the troubled state. "There has recently been talk of self-rule in J&K from the government's side, he said, adding that such deviations were not in national interest, at a time when US president George Bush is to arrive on an official visit to India.