PM: Ready to talk to all who shun violence; Omar meets Sonia

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 15 2010, 04:29am hrs
Concerned over the spurt in violence in J&K, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said that grievances of the people there needed to be addressed and the government was willing to talk to all stakeholders who were ready to abjure violence.

Ahead of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on the security situation in the state, the Prime Minister, addressing top military commanders, said economic advancement of the people of J&K has to be ensured.

The unrest in the state of Jammu & Kashmir over the last few weeks is a matter of concern. The youth of Kashmir are our citizens and their grievances have to be addressed. We have to ensure better delivery of services and generate avenues for economic advancement for the people of that state, Singh told the Combined Commanders Conference.

The remarks came even as chief minister Omar Abdullah met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister to discuss the deteriorating security situation in the state. Abdullah has been pressing the Centre to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from some areas of the state and announce some political initiatives. He said he was working with the Centre on confidence-building measures to restore normalcy in the Valley.

While Singh said the government was willing to reach out to all stakeholders to bring violence to an endwe are willing to talk to every person or group which abjures violence, within the framework of our Constitutionhe made no mention of the AFSPA at the conference.

The contentious issue of withdrawal or partial dilution of the AFSPA was to come up for discussion at the CCS meet. The meeting, chaired by the PM, discussed various options the government has to deal with the Kashmir situation.