‘Quiet’ dialogue for ‘unique’ J&K solution: Chidambaram

Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's proposed visit to the state this month, Home Minister P Chidambaram announced today that the Government of India is working on holding "quiet" talks with "every section of opinion" to find a "unique" solution to the problem of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The talks will be held silently, away from the media glare," Chidambaram told the All India Editors' Conference on Social and Infrastructure issues here. "The Government will follow the policy of quiet diplomacy to find a solution to the problem in Jammu and Kashmir."

The Centre, Chidambaram said, recognizes that there are different shades of opinion in the state, and therefore the need to hold consultations with all sections. Every voice would be heard, he said, as long as there was no recourse to violence.

"There will be political differences. There are different shades of opinion which could be described as extremist views. There would be some voices who are pleading for a separate nation. That is a reality, but whatever shade of opinion one has, there is no place for violence."

Jammu and Kashmir, Chidambaram said, "has a unique geographical location and a unique history. We have to find a solution that may turn out to be unique. The whole effort would be quiet until the contours of a political solution to the problem are found. This is essential to take the process forward.

"Once the broad contours of a political solution are arrived at, it will be made public at an appropriate time. We must find a solution that is honourable, equitable and acceptable to the vast majority, overwhelming majority, of the people of Jammu and Kashmir."

The Minister set no preconditions for the talks. He also declined to elaborate on specifics. He stonewalled a question on whether the dialogue would include talks on the status of J&K as an integral part of India by saying he would not get into "verbal gymnastics".

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