PM In J&K, To Reach Out To Separatists6 June 2010
Times of India
New Delhi: PM Manmohan Singh would arrive in Srinagar on a two-day visit on Monday to preside over Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology’s convocation and review development programmes in the state. The visit had raised hopes that the PM would reach out to the separatists and bring them back to the table, but J&K CM Omar Abdullah on Saturday confirmed that the issue wasn’t on Singh’s agenda. ‘‘The PM isn’t coming here to start a dialogue process. He will only attend the convocation,” said Omar on the sidelines of a function. Omar said the home ministry would initiate the dialogue process. ‘‘We’ve to involve some interlocutors to start the process.” Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat said the separatists weren’t in a hurry to have a dialogue and called for direct talks with the PM. ‘‘The dialogue shouldn’t be held through interlocutors. We want to hold talks with top political leadership that has the authority to take decisions,” he said. Meanwhile, a three-tier security cover was thrown around the venue of the convocation. Earlier, a SPG team arrived in Srinagar to oversee the security arrangements. All roads leading to the venue would be sealed off before the function.