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'Quiet diplomacy and dialogue' for Kashmir: PC

Last updated on: October 14, 2009 12:49 IST

Making a fresh bid to reach out to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday that the government will hold talks with every section of political opinion in the state through "quiet dialogue, quiet diplomacy" to find a political solution to the Kashmir problem that may be "unique".

"We are not shying away from talks with anyone," Chidambaram said while interacting with journalists at the All India Editors Conference on Social and Infrastrastructure Issues in Srinagar. "Let me assure you it will be quiet dialogue, quiet diplomacy until we find the contours of a political solution. Once the broad contours of a political solution are arrived at, it will be made public at an appropriate time", he said while refusing to elaborate on it.

"We cannot hold the dialogue in the glare of the media. We will hold dialogue with every shade of political opinion in Jammu and Kashmir to find a solution in a civilised way," he said. Chidambaram said political parties like National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party and Congress have a point of view and the effort would be to hold talks with all shades of political opinion, including some political groups advocating separatism, to arrive at the contours of a political solution which may be unique. Such a solution, he said, should be "honourable and acceptable" to the vast majority of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Acknowledging that there was a "problem" in J-K, Chidambaram refused to get into "verbal gymnastics" on the dialogue issue, but said effort will be made to find a political solution after consulting every shade of political opinion. The solution could be "unique" given the history and the geography of the state, he said.
   
On the security scenario in the border state, he said the Jammu and Kashmir police, backed by paramilitary forces, will
be responsible for maintenance of peace. Army's role, he said, is to defend the borders -- international border as also the
Line of Control.
   
Asserting that the violence in J-K could be solely attributed to the infiltration taking place from Pakistani territory and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Home Minister said there has been significant successes on the part of the security forces in the last few months in stopping infiltration from across the border.
   
Authorities across the border were recruiting young men and brainwashing them to pursue Jehad and create mayhem in
India, he said. But, the security forces were doing "better and better" to contain the influx of terrorists into the country.
   
According to statistics, so-called militant commanders were being neutralised in six months to a year's time by the
security forces who were all out to reduce infiltration to the barest minimum, he said.
   
On the issue of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which was in operation in J-K and parts of the north east, he said
amendments to it were awaiting Cabinet's nod and once given legislative approval, it would be applicable throughout the
country.

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