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Winning hearts and minds of Kashmiris important: PC

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New Delhi: Observing that it wanted to "win the hearts and minds" of the people of Kashmir, the government today said it would resume dialogue and asked the separatists, including hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, to join it.

 

Home Minister P Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha that the Centre was keen on fulfilling its promises, including on the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and reduction of security personnel in the state, depending on the situation there.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be receiving an all-party delegation from Jammu and Kashmir, possibly next Monday, and that leaders of parties in Parliament would also be called for a meeting.

 

Chidambaram, who was responding to clarifications sought on his statement on Kashmir unrest made on Wednesday, said Pakistan appeared to have changed its strategy on fomenting trouble in the valley as it seemed to be now relying on "civilian unrest" for "dividends".

Noting that Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India in "unique circumstances", he said the state has a "unique problem" and requires a "unique solution".

 

Chidambaram appealed to all sections to put an end to the cycle of violence and said, "We have to put our heads together to find a solution to the unique problem".

Contending that "it is important to win the hearts and minds of people of Jammu and Kashmir", the Home Minister said, "We will resume the political process. The answer to the problem lies only through the political process, only through dialogue."
 

He said it was his intention to "do everything possible to resume the quiet dialogue" which he undertook with the moderate Hurriyat leaders before it got interrupted on December 4, 2009 after an assassination bid on one them.

 

 

 

 

 

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