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Lashkar has claimed responsibility for attack: Advani

Onkar Singh in Srinagar/PTI | August 28, 2003 13:56 IST
Last Updated: August 28, 2003 16:45 IST

Pakistan-based outlawed terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba has claimed responsibility for Wednesday night's attack in which National Conference leader Javed Ahmad Shah and some others were killed, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said in Srinagar on Thursday.

"The officials here have given me this information," Advani told reporters at the conclusion of the two-day Inter-State Council meeting. Advani had on Tuesday blamed the Lashkar, along with the banned SIMI, for Monday's blasts in Mumbai.

"Our neighbour should realise that incidents of violence would not help the process of dialogue," Advani said.

He expressed gratitude to Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the people of the state for successfully organising the chief ministers' meet in Srinagar.

He congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir for showing their commitment to democracy. "Prime Minister Vajpayee had promised to hold a free and fair elections on August 15, 2002. But the people of the state defied bullets and cast their votes in favour of democracy," he said.

On the dialogue process: "We are ready to meet Hurriyat Conference leaders if they come to Delhi for talks. We have told them to first meet (Centre's interlocutor) N N Vohra who has been entrusted with the task of talking to various groups in Jammu and Kashmir."

"Prime Minister Vajpayee has repeatedly said that even those indulging in violence could come forward and discuss their problems with us provided they are willing to forsake violence," he said.

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