Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today said the willingness expressed by the moderate Hurriyat Conference for resuming dialogue was welcome but the Centre will not beg before the separatists for talks.

“It is a welcome development but the Government will not come with a begging bowl before the Hurriyat for talks,” Abdullah told presspersons after paying homage to his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on his 30th death anniversary at Naseembagh graveyard.

Abdullah was responding to a question if the Centre would initiate talks with separatists after moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed willingness to enter a dialogue process while addressing Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid.

Mirwaiz had, however, said the Centre should accept Hurriyat’s four points — withdrawal of troops from the Valley, repeal of laws such as AFSPA and PSA, release of political prisoners and end to alleged human rights violations — for creating a conducive atmosphere for the talks.

“They should initiate the process on their own if they want to resolve the problems of the people,” Abdullah said, adding that Kashmir will always remain a part of India.

The Union Minister said Kashmir issue has been there for many years and it cannot be resolved overnight. “Resolution of Kashmir issue will take time,” he said.

On the Indo-Pakistan foreign ministers’ talks in Islamabad, the NC leader expressed hope that the two countries will initiate confidence building measures, including liberalisation of the visa regime and starting banking and communication facilities for cross-LoC trade.

(This article was published on September 8, 2012)
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