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PM offers fresh talks with separatists

In a fresh attempt to reach out to separatists in J&K, PM Manmohan Singh offered to hold talks with all sections of people, including those who have stayed out of the political process.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2008 22:25 IST

In a fresh attempt to reach out to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday offered to hold talks with all sections of people including those who have stayed out of the political process.

"The Government will welcome dialogue with all sections of people. This also include those who have so far opted to stay out of the political process," Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the state, said at a crowded press conference.

The recent incidents in J and K that there is some resentment towards the Government among a section of the youth on certain issues. "It has been our belief even the most difficult issues can be resolved through dialogue," he said in an apparent reference to the recent agitation spearheaded by Hurriyat Conference.

Singh's remarks assume significance as the dialogue channel between the Centre and separatists has run into rough weather for last four years.

"I urge that who ever has complaints and grievances should come forward for dialogue. At an appropriate stage, I would also be happy to meet them," he said.

To a question why the dialogue with the Hurriyat had got stalled after 2004, the prime minister said they (Hurriyat) were to revert to the Government with some constructive proposals, which never came about.