The call by Yasin Malik, leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, came on Friday during a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Malik gave the prime minister a copy of the signatures of 1.5 million Kashmiri villagers he says are in favor of more public involvement.
Mr. Singh responded by saying the government desires to include as large a cross section of the public as possible. He gave assurances that the government would keep an open mind in working towards a genuine and permanent reconciliation in Kashmir.
Next week, the government and a wide selection of Kashmiris will hold the first-ever conference to solicit views on how to resolve the decades-old dispute over the region.