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India - Pakistan: Kashmiri separatists ask New Delhi to fix dates for parleys

NEW DELHI, Jul 12, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) - All Party Hurriyat Conference ( APHC), the Kashmiri separatist conglomeration, Tuesday urged the New Delhi Government to fix the date and venue for the next round of talks.

In a move, which clearly puts the onus for resumption of stalled parleys over the Kashmir issue on the Manmohan Singh government, the separatists' group said that if the talks were to be held in New Delhi, then fixing the date and venue was the responsibility of the Prime Minister.

"We have already shown our willingness to resume talks with the Prime Minister. If the government is serious about the dialogue process, it should fix the date and venue for the next round of talks," a Press Trust of India (PTI) report from Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir quoted APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq as saying on Tuesday.

Commenting on Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil's statement that New Delhi would not extend a fresh invitation to the Hurriyat for talks, the Mirwaiz said it was the responsibility of the government to decide if the talks were to be held in Delhi."If Prime Minister Mohanmohan Singh, however, wants to talk with us in Kashmir, we can fix the date and venue. In case, the government cannot decide, the Hurriyat would be ready to make the arrangements," he said.