I'm facilitating centre-Hurriyat talks: Soz | india | Hindustan Times
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I'm facilitating centre-Hurriyat talks: Soz

india Updated: Oct 27, 2011 11:35 IST

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Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Saifuddin Soz says he is playing the role of a "facilitator" to enable talks between the central government and the separatist Hurriyat Conference.

Soz said this to the news agency Kashmir News Service or KNS Wednesday and the report was carried by Kashmir Valley newspapers Thursday.

The news agency quoted Soz as saying: "I have been working as a facilitator between the centre and Hurriyat leaders in the past and I'm doing it now. My effort is to make the dialogue process strong."

Soz was referring to his role as a facilitator that enabled talks between the central government and Hurriyat Conference leaders in 2005. But the talks did not move beyond a point because of the communication gap that developed between the two sides after a while.

Soz has been camping in Srinagar for the past few days and addressing a series of public meetings across the valley, where he has been talking of empowering panchayats and seeking redressal of grievances of the people, especially in meeting basic needs like the drinking water, schools, healthcare and road connectivity.

On another issue that is currently dominating the political debate in Jammu and Kashmir - the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain areas as advocated by chief minister Omar Abdullah, Soz said: "AFSPA will end only when militancy ends.

"If the chief minister is satisfied that militancy has ended in 'some areas' of the state then he should identify these places and discuss it with the defence and home ministries and take their viewpoint."

"Omar should reach broader consensus before taking the decision," he said.