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Hurriyat welcomes PM's peace offer, hardliners reject

October 25, 2009 21:31 IST

The moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference on Sunday welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's offer to engage separatists for talks on Kashmir issue, and said it had no conditions as "dialogue and conditionalities don't go together".

"We support talks. We want to talk to both India and Pakistan. We want purposeful dialogue with a view to finding a permanent solution of Kashmir problem," acting chairman of Hurriyat, Abdul Gani Bhat.

However, hardline faction of Hurriyat headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has rejected dialogue with Centre saying talks with the government would breach the agreement both the factions of Hurriyat had reached on June 19 last year.

During the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Cha-Am Hua Hin, Thailand, Prime Minister Singh had said, "I have always maintained that it is our sincere desire to engage all sections of political opinion in Jammu and Kashmir to find practical and pragmatic solutions to the problems facing the state."

Asked if there were conditions for initiating talks with the government, Bhat said, "I think dialogue and conditionalities don't go together."

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