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PM offers olive branch to terrorists in PoK

While appealing to Kashmiri terrorists in PoK to return home, he promised "zero tolerance" to custodial deaths.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 02:14 IST

In a major peace initiative, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday sought to encourage Kashmiri terrorists who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to return saying that their cases would be reviewed and promised "zero tolerance" to custodial deaths.

Manmohan Singh, who addressed the second roundtable conference on Kashmir attended by representatives of various sections of the state's society and chaired a meeting of Unified Command, suggested institutionalisation of arrangement to bring people from both sides of divided J&K closer.

Pointing out that there were two dimensions to the J&K problem, Singh said, "one is the relationship between Delhi and Srinagar and the other is the relationship between Delhi and Islamabad. These two dimensions are, of course, different but each affects the other."

Manmohan, who is in Srinagar amid spurt in terror attacks, issued a stern warning to "some elements" within the state who are out to disrupt peace.

He expressed government's resolve to protect people from terrorist attacks and asked the security forces to deal with terrorism firmly but humanely while observing human rights.

"...In the light of changing environment, we are reviewing the cases of all detainees.

Included in this is a review of cases of those (who) crossed over (to PoK) after violating our laws and who are now anxious to come home," Singh said addressing the roundtable attended by 30 leaders, including representatives of PDP, National Conference, Congress and Panthers Party.

The announcement assumes significance as there have been reports that many Kashmiri youth who had taken to militancy and crossed over to PoK were keen to return home.

First Published: May 24, 2006 10:01 IST