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Manmohan to visit Kashmir on Sep 16

By Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
Last updated on: September 02, 2004 17:45 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be on a two-day visit to Kashmir starting September 16, a Ministry of Home Affairs official said on Thursday.

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He is unlikely to meet separatist leaders since Home Minister Shivraj Patil has already ruled out holding dialogue with those who want it outside the Constitution's purview, the official said.

"The prime minister on principle will not talk to the militant leaders who keep harping on a dialogue without preconditions," he said.

Singh will meet state Congress leaders to know how the People's Democratic Party-Congress government is performing.

During a Cabinet Committee on Security meeting on June 28, chief of army staff General N C Vij had briefed the PM.

Singh will leave for the United States on September 19 to participate in the UN General Assembly session in New York. He is likely to meet US President George Bush and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of the session.

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Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi