NATIONAL

`Dialogue process must continue'

SAMBA (JAMMU), FEB. 26. The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today said that the dialogue process between the All Party Hurriyat Conference and the Central Government was a necessity. It had generated a hope of lasting peace in the Valley and there was no room for retracting from the process.

Addressing a public meeting in the Samba area of Jammu, 40 km from the city, the Chief Minister said the dialogue process had brought relief to the people. ``People are fed up with the gun culture and they do not want to live under the shadow of fear. Dialogue has to continue.''

Indirectly referring to the reported threat of the Hurriyat Conference chairman, Moulvi Abbas Ansari, to withdraw from talks, the Mufti said: ``The dialogue process has generated a lot of hope among the people in the Kashmir Valley and all sides must work to fulfil the expectations of the people.''The 15-month-old coalition government was successful in many respects, the Mufti said. ``The gains of the ceasefire were the cumulative effect of various initiatives taken by the coalition government, '' he added.