'Ready to talk to those who shun violence'

'Ready to talk to those who shun violence'

In an apparent reference to separatists in Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Tuesday that New Delhi was ready to talk to those who shun violence. The assertion came a day after eight Army personnel were killed in a terror attack here.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at here, Singh said, “I have always said that we are ready to talk to those who shun violence.” However, he did not elaborate.

Asked whether the government intended to regulate pilgrimage to Amarnath in view of the recent Uttarakhand tragedy, the prime minister said: “I cannot say today that I have answers to these difficult problems. We must have a pattern of development which is sustainable which respects the imperatives of the ecological consideration. It requires a broad national consensus in which all stakeholders must take part. There is a need for national consensus on regulating pilgrim tourism in the country in which all stakeholders need to be taken on board.”

Expressing grief over the death of rescue personnel in a chopper crash in Uttarakhand, Singh said the entire nation shares the grief of the families who lost their loved ones.
Regulate religious tourism

“These are long term things which should be looked at how we can regulate religious tourism, if at all it is possible considering the sentiments of the people, we should do that,” he said and added the priority of the government at the moment was the relief and rehabilitation work in the hill state.

On the chopper crash and resultant loss of life, Singh said it was a “very sad tragedy.”

“Our jawans are doing a brave job. They were taking a lot of risks also. They have lost their lives. I share the grief of the bereaved families and the entire nation is with them in this hour of grief,” he added.

Singh said the best tribute to the jawans will be to complete the mission in Uttarakhand.

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