Centre’s talks offer golden chance to end Kashmir row: Mehbooba

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Srinagar, June 11 (IANS) Asserting that the offer of talks to separatists and the Ramadan ceasefire were the beginning of a dialogue process, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday asked the separatists not to miss this “golden opportunity”.

Speaking after inaugurating a bridge here, she said: “For ending uncertainty and providing lasting peace in the state, everyone including the separatists should come forward and respond to the Home Minister’s offer of dialogue to resolve he Jammu and Kashmir issue and other problems of the state.

“I feel that somewhere efforts are being made to carry forward the political process. How far can the political process be taken will depend on how good the situation remains on the ground,” she told reporters.

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The Chief Minister added: “This is a golden opportunity. It does not happen very often that a very powerful Prime Minister makes such an offer. It was 18 years back that cessation of operations happened during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure.

“At that time, talks were held at the level of Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani.

“That process appears to have been repeated now, but we cannot force anyone. We hope the separatists seize the opportunity.”

She expressed sadness over the continuing violence by the militants by way of grenade attacks, firing at security forces and through weapon snatching attempts.

–IANS

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