Make dialogue process more inclusive: Omar
25 October 2003
Our Staff Reporter
Srinagar: The National Conference president, Omar Abdullah, has asked the Union Government to make the dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir more inclusive by inviting all the separatist groups. Talking to reporters at his residence, Mr. Abdullah said, 'The dialogue process should include all the separatist groups in the State. Even the faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by the hardliner, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, should be involved with the fresh initiative announced by the Government of India.' He warned that limiting the political initiative to the Ansari faction would discredit the moderate Hurriyat. 'We should not make the separatists who participate in the dialogue soft target of the militants.' Asked whether he accepted Mr. Geelani's condition for tripartite talks by including Pakistan, Mr. Abdullah said, 'Let us call their bluff on the table.' Calling for a ceasefire, he said, 'We appeal to the Central Government to announce a Ramzan ceasefire as the holy month is some days away. Though earlier, the Ramzan ceasefire announced in November 2001 had failed, it is not necessary that the second would also result in failure.' He also sought a review of the cases of all detenus who had either minor charges against them or had completed a major part of their term.