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Don't spurn talks offer: Sayeed to separatists

M I Jehangir in Srinagar | October 26, 2003 17:50 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Sunday said separatists should not spurn the Centre's offer for talks describing it as a 'golden opportunity'.

"No one seemed to believe me when I said unconditional talks will be held with the separatist leadership. It is the major highlight of our coalition government so far and it was now for the separatists to react," Sayeed told PTI in an interview on the eve of completion of his one year on office.

Asserting that offer of talks to the separatist leaders was the main agenda of the common minimum programme of his coalition government, he said, "Now the talks offer has come from the highest level and (it) should not be spurned. It is a golden opportunity, a historic window for restoration of peace and normalcy in the state."

Sayeed will be completing one year in office on November 2.

Observing that national consensus had emerged on the Kashmir issue, he said his efforts to end the bloodshed in the state will continue.

The chief minister said the general situation in the state was improving and a better sense of security had been instilled among the people since his government came to power.

"(But) vested interests within and outside the state seemed to be bent upon disturbing the peace and discounting the gains made over the past one year," he said.

Sayeed said he returned to state politics as he felt that he had a role to play in restoring peace. "And... for the first time in over a decade, people in the state feel that peace in the state is around the corner," he said.

Dispelling reports of difference among the coalition partners, Sayeed said he did not foresee any immediate threat to his government as all alliance partners are in perfect understanding.

"This government is very stable and there is no threat. All the partners especially the PDP and Congress are in perfect harmony and symphony with each other," he said.

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Sub: hmmm

hope there's peace in kashmir soon

Posted by amit


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