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Third J&K roundtable conference on April 24
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April 13, 2007 18:30 IST

The third roundtable conference on Kashmir will be held on April 24 in New Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Friday.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting Azad had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, in which Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil was also present.

He said the conference would discuss the recommendations of five working groups set up by the prime minister after the second roundtable on May 24, 2005 and provide yet another platform to representatives of political parties, ethnic groups and opinion leaders from all the three regions to deliberate upon all issues.

However, it was not immediately clear whether the separatist groups, including Hurriyat Conference, would participate in the third round.

The separatists had boycotted the earlier two rounds of the roundtable on the ground that they would not like to share a platform with such parties who agreed Kashmir was an integral part of the country.

Maintaining that peace is imperative for all-round development and prosperity of the state, Azad said the state and central governments have started a process of composite dialogue and roundtable conferences are part of the process.

"All of us have to discharge historic role and contribute for cultivating peace in the state," he said. The chief minister was addressing a day-long convention of village chiefs.

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