//PM holds talks with Yaseen Malik

PM holds talks with Yaseen Malik

New Delhi, Feb. 18. (PTI): As part of his efforts to widen the dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday held talks with a two-member team of the separatist outfit Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) led by its Chairman Yaseen Malik, on Kashmir issue.

Malik was accompanied by his outfit’s General Secretary Ghulam Rasool Dar, for the talks held at the official residence of the Prime Minister. The JKLF chief is the second leader after Peoples Conference’s Sajjad Lone to be invited by the Prime Minister for talks on the Kashmir issue. Lone had held the talks with Singh last month.

The JKLF chief has been maintaining a low profile since infighting erupted in the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference over its control and he remained away from both — Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and hardline Syed Ali Shah Geelani groups. The Centre has said it would hold talks with a cross-section of separatist leaders from the state. The Prime Minister had kicked off the exercise by holding talks with a delegation of Hurriyat Conference here on September 5 last year.

The Centre is also likely to call other separtist leaders outside Hurriyat, including Shabir Shah. JKDLF leader Hashim Qureshi, could also be called for talks. Malik had on Thursday said he favoured initiation of a Nagaland-type of dialogue with Kashmiris. Much of the talks were held in a third country between representatives of NSCN(IM) and the government and there was no discussion with the State Chief Minister, he said