Centre to invite all groups for dialogue on Kashmir

The Centre will extend invitation to all shades of opinion in J&K, including Hurriyat Conference, to find ways for resolution of Kashmir issue.

Updated: Jul 21, 2010, 18:18 PM IST

New Delhi: The Centre will extend
invitation to all shades of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir,
including Hurriyat Conference, to find ways for resolution of
Kashmir issue and restore peace in the state which has
witnessed separatist-sponsored agitation for last three weeks.

Sources in the government said invitation will be extended
separately to each small and major group, mainstream as well
as separatists groups including both factions of Hurriyat

An initiative is already underway by the state government
and the Centre was building on that to carry forward the

Letters of invitation would be sent to every party and
group for separate meetings with the Central leaders which may
include Home Minister P Chidambaram, the sources said.

This comes in the wake of repeated demands by Jammu and
Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asking the central
leadership for initiating a political dialogue with all shades
of opinion in the state.

Omar had said recently in Srinagar that the Centre should
talk to everybody who is willing to talk and also reach out to
those who are unwilling to talk.

Citing the example of the Centre`s dialogue with the
Hizbul Mujahideen 10 years ago, he had said "I think an
example can be taken from the dialogue in 2000 where as a
result of a ceasefire, talks were initiated with the militant

"Now obviously, it will take (a) a lot of ground work for
and (b) ceasefire for the dialogue to go ahead. But I think
that needs to be done", he had said.

The Centre, he had said, should try "some Track II
diplomacy like the efforts made in 2000 that had led to a
ceasefire and dialogue."

Chidambaram had started quiet diplomacy with the
Hurriyat Conference leaders led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq last
year which came to an abrupt end after one of the moderate
leaders Fazal-ul-Haq Qureshi was shot by terrorists.

The Centre also supported the move of the state Chief
Minister for holding elections to local bodies later this year
as this would help create another buffer zone in governance.

Omar had, during his meetings with the Central leadership
and at an all-party meeting held last week in Kashmir,
favoured holding of panchayat and municipal polls in
October-November this year.

The Chief Minister had said his government was looking
at panchayat and municipal bodies in October and November so
that the benefits of governance trickle down to the grass-root

"This way, we will have a vested interest among the people
at large to have normalcy," Omar had said.