NEW DELHI — India's prime minister appealed Sunday to the people of Indian-controlled Kashmir to end violent protests and said his government is ready to hold talks to resolve their long-standing problems.
"The years of violence should now end. Such violence will not benefit anyone," Manmohan Singh said in a speech marking India's Independence Day.
"We are ready to talk to every person or group which abjures violence."
Indian-administered Kashmir has been rocked by near-daily protests and clashes with security forces, leading to the deaths of at least 57 people over the last two months. The protesters have set official buildings and vehicles ablaze and government forces have used guns and tear gas in an effort to contain the unrest.