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Manmohan holds talks with Sajjad Lone

He said before the talks that he was going with a "positive frame of mind."

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 18:17 IST

In the first meeting with any separatist group leader outside Hurriyat Conference, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday held talks with the five-member delegation of People's Conference led by Sajjad Lone, younger son of slain separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone.

Attired in traditional white Kashmiri Salwaz Kameez, Sajjad went to the Prime Minister's residence along with Peer Hafizullah Maqdoomi, Abdul Rashid Lone, Mirwaiz Qazi Yaseen and Rasheed Mehmood.

He said before the talks that he was going with a "positive frame of mind."

Terming the invitation by the Centre as "positive", the younger Lone, who is married to daughter of JKLF Chief Amanullah Khan, said he would emphasise on identification of other parties and individuals necessary for an inclusive Kashmir participation in peace talks.

"Let us see how it all goes about," was the reply of younger Lone, who broke away from his brother Bilal Lone last year, over the continuance of the People's Conference in the Hurriyat Amalgam.

Today's meeting has already seen a sharp reaction from the moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who said that the Amalgam was being sidelined in the entire peace process of Jammu and Kashmir.

Trying to put a brave face over the invitation to Lone, the Mirwaiz said he was not averse to anyone meeting the Centre but accused the leadership of not fulfilling its promises made to them.

The Prime Minister had held talks with a delegation of Hurriyat Conference in New Delhi on September 5last year.

First Published: Jan 14, 2006 18:17 IST