Ready for peace talks in Kashmir: PM | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ready for peace talks in Kashmir: PM

delhi Updated: Aug 15, 2010 08:19 IST

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said his government was ready for talks with "every person or group" that abjures violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

In his address on the country's 64th Independence Day, Manmohan Singh maintained that the state "is an integral part of India" and any dialogue in Kashmir would be held within this framework.

"In Jammu and Kashmir, we are ready to talk to every person or group which abjures violence. Kashmir is an integral part of India. Within this framework, we are ready to move forward in any talks which would increase the partnership of the common man in governance and also enhance their welfare," he said.

The prime minister's latest bid for fresh peace talks comes in the wake of new unrest in the Kashmir Valley that has seen some 55 people killed, mostly in police firing, in the past over two months.

The prime minister regretted over the loss of lives in the valley.

"Some young men have lost their lives in violence in Jammu and Kashmir. We deeply regret this. The years of violence should now end. Such violence would not benefit anyone."

He said: "India's democracy has the generosity and flexibility to be able to address the concerns of any area or group in the country."

Mentioning about the meeting he held with mainstream political parties in the state, he said: "We will endeavour to take this process forward. I would like to convey to our countrymen, especially our citizens in Jammu and Kashmir and in the northeast, that they should adopt democratic means to join hands with us for their and country's welfare."