Terming as "cowardly" the attack on Hurriyat leader Fazal Haq Qureshi, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the Centre was committed to finding a solution to the Kashmir issue through quiet talks with every shade of political opinion in the state.
Chidambaram said he was deeply distressed by the attack on Qureshi, who is now battling for his life in a hospital in Srinagar.
The Hurriyat leader was seriously injured in an attack by militants on Friday.
Lambasting those behind the attack, he said in a statement here, "These are the elements which, in the past, have pushed Jammu and Kashmir to the brink of a crisis. It is also clear that these elements act at the behest of forces that are inimical to India."
He said the attack was a cowardly attempt by those who do not wish that the problems of Jammu and Kashmir are resolved through talks.
The home minister said the correct response at this hour was not to be cowed down by these violent acts or allow fear to interrupt the process of quiet talks and diplomacy.
"I assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that we remain committed to finding a solution through quiet talks with every shade of political opinion in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
"My prayers as well as those of all peace loving people are with him (Qureshi) and his family, and we sincerely hope that he will recover," the Home Minister said.
Chidambaram said he was happy to read the statements of Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and others who have vowed to continue their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue through talks with the Centre.
Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram