Indian PM stresses dialogue on Kashmir unrest

18:56, September 15, 2010      

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for dialogue and discussion on the violence in northwest state Jamme and Kashmir Wednesday in the opening remarks of an all-party meeting on Kashmir.

After observing one minute of silence for people who lost their lives in recent violence, Singh said: "The only path for lasting peace and prosperity in Jamme and Kashmir is that of dialogue and discussion."

Singh expressed his "shock and distress" at the participation of young people and children in the protests on the streets and highlighted the possible role of "certain groups" in some incidents.

He said, "We have to talk to each other. And those who have grievances against the government have to talk to the administration. But it is also true that meaningful dialogue can happen only in an atmosphere free from violence and confrontation. Discussions can take place only if we have calm and public order."

The Prime Minister said the government is ready for dialogue with anybody or any group that does not espouse or practice violence, while appealing the people especially the young to eschew violence to make way for dialogue.

The all-party meeting draws 38 political leaders from almost all political parties and is expected to debate on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act giving special powers to security forces.

Nevertheless, Indian police opened fire at protesters and injured at least eight people Wednesday in the valley state, leaving two in serious conditions, according to media report.

Since this June, 83 people have lost their lives during protests and demonstrations bringing Kashmir to the verge of out of control.

Source: Xinhua


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