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Full text of joint statement issued after the first meeting between leaders of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference and Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister of India, New Delhi, 22 January 2004.
It was agreed that today’s meeting was the first significant step in the dialogue process initiated by the government of India and that a step-by-step approach would lead to resolution of all outstanding issues relating to Jammu and Kashmir.
The APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) delegation stressed that an honourable and durable solution should be found through dialogue.
It was agreed that the only way forward is to ensure that all forms of violence at all levels should come to an end. The deputy prime minister (LK Advani) endorsed the APHC’s view that the role for the gun should be replaced by the sound of politics.
The APHC delegation was committed to the enlargement of the dialogue process to cover all regions of Jammu and Kashmir and the concerns of all communities.
After hearing the delegation, the deputy prime minister observed it was the government’s foremost concern to safeguard the security of all people and ensure against the violation of their rights.
He (Advani) also agreed that a rapid review would be undertaken to examine the cases of those held in detention.
The talks were amicable, free, frank and fruitful and it was agreed that the next round of discussion would take place in the latter part of March.