Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Saifuddin Soz on Sunday said people of the Valley have rejected violence as an instrument of settling political disputes and advocated a change in perceptions to redress their grievances.
"Violence has been rejected finally by Kashmiris as an instrument to settle political disputes. They have rejected this ideology.
"There is need for a changed perception now to handle Kashmir and to listen to grievances of the people," Soz told a gathering at the party headquarters here.
This was his first address to party workers after taking over as state Congress president for the second time.
Calling for according Kashmiris a "rightful honour", Soz said the approach used to address issues concerning Kashmiris should be changed.
"I appeal to the Centre and the state government and the BJP, PDP and Congress to change their approach in handling Kashmir," he said.
Soz appealed to militants to shun violence and join the mainstream for lasting peace in the state.
"Militants should drop the guns, join the mainstream and solve people’s problems," he said.
Soz said the Congress would emerge as the single largest party in the upcoming assembly election in the state.
"And time will decide if we will form government on our own or join a coalition," he said.