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The 2nd Kashmir roundtable: Open to all
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March 16, 2006 19:16 IST

Jammu and Kashmir [Images] Chief Minister Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad on Thursday invited the hard-line Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to participate in the second roundtable conference on Kashmir in May saying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] is ready to talk to him separately.

"The next roundtable conference will be held in May in Srinagar [Images] and I extend an open invitation to political parties, militants, underground and legitimate organisations for the resolution of Kashmir issue," Azad told the Assembly during question hour.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is ready to talk to the hard-line separatist leader (Geelani) even if he likes to talk separately," he said.

"The issue of Kashmir cannot be settled in isolation in jungles and we have to interact and find out the settlement across the table," the chief minister said.

He said other organisations that missed the first roundtable will be persuaded to attend the May round.

However, militants will have to shun violence, he said.

Congratulating Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] for the positive change in his stance with regard to the Kashmir issue, Azad said the change is noteworthy and appreciable and deserves commendation from all.

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