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Dr Singh a man of integrity: Lone

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
January 10, 2006 17:14 IST
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Sajjad Lone, chairman of the People's Conference, who will be leading a five-member delegation to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the Kashmir problem, said he was excited about the prospect of meeting the man for whom he has great regard.

Talking to over the phone from Srinagar, Lone said he was happy that the government of India has decided to broaden the base for talks on Kashmir.

"I am defintely looking forward to meeting the man for whom I have great regard. He is a man of immense integrity. I am glad that he has decided to include other political parties besides the All Party Hurriyat Conference for holding talks on Kashmir," he said.

Sajjad Lone and his colleagues will arrive in New Delhi on Friday evening, a day ahead of the meeting, which is likely to take place on Saturday evening.

"We have not yet been told the time of the meeting but I think it would be on Saturday evening. What is important is not so much the meeting itself, as the carrying forward of the dialogue process," he explained.

Sajjad Lone has been holding big rallies in Handwara, which has been the stronghold of his party. In the last assembly elections, some of his party nominees had contested the elections as independent candidates.

The invitation to meet Dr Singh came days after Sajjad Lone rejected Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's proposals made during an interview with a private television channel. "I do not know whether it has any link with the appointment," he said, however.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi