Centre serious about dialogue with Pak, separatists: Soz

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress President Saifuddin Soz today asserted that the centre was serious about dialogue with Pakistan and separatists in Kashmir to resolve all issues peacefully.

Updated: May 19, 2010, 15:28 PM IST

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress President Saifuddin Soz today asserted that the centre was serious about dialogue with Pakistan and separatists in Kashmir to resolve all issues peacefully.

"As far as dialogue is concerned, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is very serious about the dialogue process", Soz told reporters here.

Asked to comment on media reports suggesting that PM during his upcoming visit to Kashmir will once again offer talks to the separatists, Soz said "PM is eager to have
dialogue. It is his conviction that talks should be held with Pakistan as well as separatists".

"Dialogue is there. Track II has become track I now. Despite what happened in Mumbai, India initiated talks with Pakistan and the process will continue", he asserted.

Asked why "quiet dialogue" promised by Union Home minister P Chidambaram during his last visit to the valley did not take off, the JKPCC Chief said "dialogue is on. The
leaders (Hurriyat) must be in touch with them. I also contributed in a small way in the process. Track II is going on".
When a reporter said Hurriyat has claimed that there was no contact for the last four months, Soz replied "if they are not satisfied I will not compel them to say they are
satisfied. I cannot tell you what type of dialogue is going on", he said.

He said Hurriyat should not wait for invitation from the centre. "They are responsible leaders. I respect Hurriyat leaders and their ideologies have to be respected. They have a
viewpoint which they should raise during the dialogue", he said.

The PCC Chief ruled out factionism in state unit of the party as well as differences with coalition partner, National Conference.

PTI