In a bid to reach out to all shades of opinion to evolve a consensus in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday met People's Conference delegation led by its Chairman Sajjad Lone and exchanged views about finding a lasting peace in the militancy-hit state.
Emerging from a more than an hour-long talks, Lone, son of assassinated separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone, said the delegation had a very positive dialogue with the prime minister and that his party would go with all the steps aimed at finding a solution to the Kashmir problem.
Though Lone, whose party is the first one to be called by the Centre for talks after Hurriyat, refused to divulge any details about the talks, sources said Lone wanted 'stigmatization of violence' and called for a social awareness against all those who indulged in inhumane acts.
He said the process of talks should be institutionalised as this was the only civilian method to resolve all problems in the world.
Prime Minister's media advisor Sanjay Baru said the talks were held in a 'constructive and friendly' manner over wide ranging issues.
While there was a democratically elected government, the prime minister expressed his intention to meet all sections of public opinion in Jammu and Kashmir including those who were not a part of the electoral forum, Baru said.
While the Dr Singh was assisted by National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Principal Secretary to the PM, T K A Nair, Home Secretary N N Vohra, the People Conference team comprised Peer Hafizullah Maqdoomi, Abdul Rashid Lone, Mirwaiz Qazi Yaseen and Rasheed Mehmood.
Terming the invitation by the Centre as 'positive', Lone said he also laid emphasis on identification of other parties and individuals necessary for an inclusive Kashmir participation in peace talks.
Taking a veiled dig at the Hurriyat Conference, which has been making statements that the Centre was not doing enough, Lone said, "Some people want overnight results, but this is not possible. The process is lengthy and will take some time."
Hearing more people will give the Centre more opportunity to evolve a consensus for lending an ear to more voices emerging out from the state, Lone said, adding, "Importance should be given to the process and not quick results."
Saturday's meeting has already seen a sharp reaction from the moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who said that the amalgam was being sidelined in the entire Kashmir peace process.
Trying to put a brave face over the invitation to Lone, the Mirwaiz said he was not averse to anyone meeting the Centre but accused the leadership of not fulfilling its promises made to them.