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Omar welcomes Centre-separatist talks

By Mukhtar Ahmad
Last updated on: November 09, 2009 21:34 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday welcomed the likely Centre-separatists dialogue to be held away from media glare.

Addressing a media conference in winter capital Jammu, Omar also welcomed the recent statement of the former chairman and spokesperson of the moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, who had on Sunday said in Delhi that "the separatists were prepared to work together with mainstream parties like National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party to work out a solution to the problem in Kashmir".

The chief minister perceived this "as a change in the so far hardliner stance of the separatists towards the mainstream parties in Kashmir".

"The dialogue would be fruitful and result-oriented, as it was being held away from the media glare. Quiet diplomacy has proved fruitful in solving many political issues. This process has helped a lot in the settlement of political issues of Palestine and Sri Lanka in recent past," he said.

The chief minister, however, ruled out any dissolution of the state assembly prior to holding of the dialogue process saying "it was not needed".

Maintaining that even though the ongoing turmoil in Pakistan was the countries internal matter, yet "the neighbours felt concerned".

"The instability in Pakistan affects the country, particularly Jammu and Kashmir," he added.
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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar