Mufti for dialogue with separatists, Pak

Sayeed said India's relations with Pakistan have a direct impact on Jammu and Kashmir and any uncertainity hampers the development of the state.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday pitched for dialogue with separatists as well as with Pakistan, saying the state's development is hampered by the political uncertainty.

"I strongly believe that all issues between India and Pakistan should be resolved amicably by engaging in a meaningful dialogue," he said during an informal conversation with members of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation here.

"On internal front, we favour dialogue with all shades of opinion," Sayeed said, referring to the separatists.

To press his point, he gave the example of Sajjad Gani Lone, leader of People's Conference, who has given up separatism and joined the mainstream by contesting the polls. He is now a minister.

"The government's Agenda of the Alliance also favours dialogue with those who have ideological differences with us. We will continue to explore this option," said the PDP leader who is heading a coalition government with BJP.

Sayeed said India's relations with Pakistan have a direct impact on Jammu and Kashmir and any uncertainity hampers the development of the state.

"Relationship with Pakistan has a direct bearing on J&K. Political uncertainty hampers state's development," he said.

Sayeed, who served as Chief Minister earlier between 2002 and 2005, said he had "set the tone" in the India-Pakistan ties during that tenure and "we had a decade-long peace in the region."

He said the foremost challenge on the internal front was to bring the three regions of the state together.

"My alliance with the BJP demonstrates my resolve to get the three regions of the state following the fractured verdict in 2014 elections," he said, while alleging that the previous governments had failed to connect the regions.

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