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Geelani says ready for talks if Govt fulfils preconditions

August 31, 2010 20:42 IST

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani today said the ongoing protests could be reviewed and a dialogue with the Centre initiated if it fulfils five preconditions.

Addressing a press conference at his Hyderpora residence here, the 81-year-old separatist said he was "responding to the willingness shown by Indian leadership to engage in a dialogue with Jammu and Kashmir leadership".

Geelani stuck to his stand that India must consider Jammu and Kashmir issue as an international dispute, but refrained from repeating his ususal demands about implementation of UN resolutions and involvement of Pakistan in talks.

The other preconditions are "demilitarisation to be monitored by some credible agency; Prime Minister to publicly assure and ensure that henceforth no killings or arrests shall take place", unconditional release of youths and political prisoners before Eid and withdrawal of cases against them; revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act and punishing those responsible for killing of people during recent protests.

"If implemented on ground in both letter and spirit, these measures would facilitate in the creation of conducive atmosphere enabling Jammu and Kashmir leadership to meet, consult and consolidate public opinion for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the democratic principle of right to self-determination," he said.

He said "the minimum necessary conditions" must be met without any delay. However, Geelani said, if government "fails to fulfil these minimum necessary conditions required for peace and resolution immediately, the programme of ongoing mass protests would be intensified."

Geelani had earlier this month issued an appeal to the youths not to indulge in violence after massive protests in the Valley.

Geelani refused to take questions, saying "I will answer questions next time".
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