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Mufti welcomes Delhi's talks offer

October 22, 2003 15:58 IST
Last Updated: October 22, 2003 20:35 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Wednesday described Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani's appointment to hold talks with the Hurriyat Conference as a 'golden opportunity' and expressed the hope that the separatists will respond positively.

Sayeed said it is the 'happiest day' for him since coming to power last year, as the Kashmiris' demand for talks at the  highest level has been fulfilled.

He said the separatists should not miss this opportunity for restoring peace in the state.

The chief minister, who has been advocating unconditional talks with all sections of the society, including the separatists, said the people of the state want dignified peace and the Centre has opened the doors to it.

Asked separatist leader and chairman of a breakaway Hurriyat faction, Syed Ali Shah Geelani's, rejection of the offer, Sayeed said the rejection is not in the favour of the people of Kashmir. "If you start making demands, then the dialogue does not remain unconditional," he said.

The Congress, a partner in the Mufti's government, has also welcomed the Centre's decision.

"Congress party fully supports the Centre's decision to hold talks with the Hurriyat. It has always been in favour of
talks," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters in New Delhi.

Also see:
Government ready to talk to Hurriyat
APHC's emergency meeting on Thursday


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Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis

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