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3rd J&K round-table: Talks to continue
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 25, 2007 09:52 IST
In a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office late on Tuesday night, the participants in the Kashmir round-table conference decided to continue the dialogue process in the future as it had yielded good results.
Mediapersons were not allowed anywhere near the venue of the RTC, which was being held at 7 Race Course Road, and they were kept at least 200 mt away from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence.
In fact, none of the participants who came out for brief periods spoke to newsmen.
"The participants at the third round-table conference welcomed the continuation of the process of a wide ranging dialogue initiated by the prime minister in February 2006, and carried forward in Srinagar in May 2006. It was acknowledged that this had helped evolve a better understanding of the issues and problems that affect the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
It had produced an environment in which the citizens of all parts of the state could hope to lead a life of dignity, self-respect and fulfillment without fear of war, and want or exploitation and discrimination," the statement said.The participants appreciated the good work done by various working groups set up during the last round-table conference held in Srinagar in 2006.
"The conference gave in principle endorsement to the approach suggested by the working group on confidence building measures across segments of society in the state viz strengthening human rights protection; improving relief and rehabilitation of widows, orphans and other victims of militancy and violence; and preserving the rich and diverse cultural landscape of the state. It appreciated the concerns expressed by the working group regarding the rights of all minorities in J&K," it was pointed out.
The conference also decided to resolve, in a time-bound manner, other long pending issues like rehabilitation of refugees from West Pakistan in 1947 and persons affected by the wars of 1965 and 1971, the need to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their hearth and homes. It urged the state/Central government to take all possible initiatives towards this end."The round-table conference recognised that steps relating to a number of recommendations had already been taken, but new initiatives still needed to be launched. It resolved that the recommendations would be further examined by the state and Central governments in the light of the observations made during today's discussion to ensure that further initiatives and decisions could be taken in a time bound manner," the statement said.