In a fresh initiative, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed the Centre's willingness to "talk to anyone" having "meaningful ideas" to promote peace in Jammu and Kashmir and offered to resume dialogue with Pakistan provided it curbed activities of those engaged in terrorism in India.
Addressing a public meeting at Anantnag in Kashmir on Wednesday, he announced the Centre's assistance to a series of development measures in the state. The meeting was also attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and state leaders like Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad, and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Affirming that "the era of violence and terrorism is coming to an end", the prime minister said that five years ago his government had committed to having unconditional dialogue with "whoever abjures violence" after which the government had held discussions with different groups and implemented a number of initiatives.
After the meeting, the PM and other leaders flagged off the 18-km-long Anantnag-Qazigund section of the Kashmir rail project.Singh even predicted that one day trains would run between Jammu and Srinagar through the Banihal Pass.
He also bookmarked several measures that have been left undone between Indian and Pakistan Kashmir.
During his speech, he said trade, empathy with divided families and development could resolve problems and outlaw terrorism from the hearts and minds of the people of the state.He outlined some steps that the government had already taken: movement of goods and people across the LoC on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and the Poonch-Rawalakot road.