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J&K CM hails Musharraf's rejection of free Kashmir

Ghulam Nabi Azad welcomed the statement of Pakistan President of outrightly rejecting the option of an independent Kashmir.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2006 19:47 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday welcomed the statement of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf of outrightly rejecting the option of an independent Kashmir.

"I welcome his suggestion of rejecting the option of an independent Kashmir and also his desire to talk to New Delhi," Azad said in a television interview.

Asked why the Centre was not forthcoming in its approach to have a second round of talks with separatist Hurriyat Conference, Azad said it was for the amalgam to communicate to the Centre they were ready with their much-promised proposals and agenda.

"They did not approach and I guess they were more busy in talking across the border with Musharraf than with the Centre," he said, adding "the Centre is very serious about the talks."

Azad said the talks with the Centre could not be a one group-centric and has to broaden.

"Our interest is in talking to every individual," he said while referring to the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and JKLF Chief Yaseen Malik and another leader Sajjad Lone.

He rubbised the suggestion that non-participation of separatist leaders in the round-table conference convened by Singh in New Delhi on February 25 was a failure on the part of the government and made it clear that if the separatist leaders failed to to appear in the second round-table, being held in Srinagar in May this year, the onus would fall on them.

First Published: Mar 19, 2006 19:47 IST