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J&K roundtable a 'well thought out move'

PM will be talking to 48 people from various sections of the Kashmiri society during the 2-day roundtable conference.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 12:45 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The roundtable conference on Kashmir, initiated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is a "well thought out" move as he wants to allow "everybody" to be heard to take forward the peace process in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh, who arrived in Srinagar on Wednesday morning, will be talking to 48 people from various sections of the Kashmiri society during the two-day second roundtable conference, the first of which was held in New Delhi on February 25.

"This is a serious, well thought out initiative to try and get to a meeting ground. This is nota drama or a public spectacle," the Prime Minister's Media Advisor Sanjay Baru said, ahead of the conclave.

"This was an ongoing process and not a one-time affair," Baru said, adding the Prime Minister wants to allow everybody to be heard and that is why the conclave, which was earlier scheduled for one day, has been extended by another day.

Baru said the roundtable will provide an opportunity to all important actors to meet the Prime Minister and help in bringing normalcy and progress in the border state.

He said the Prime Minister will not not be separately meeting the leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, which has decided to stay away from the conclave.

During the meeting with the Hurriyat leaders, including its Chairman Mirwaiz Omer Farooq, on May 3 in New Delhi, the Prime Minister had asked them to come back with concrete proposals on issues like human rights and autonomy. The understanding at that meeting was that the Hurriyat will come with its proposals for the next meeting with Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

"We are waiting for them to get back," Baru said.

First Published: May 24, 2006 10:01 IST