APHC rejects US demand
12 May 2000
Srinagar: APHC Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has turned down an American demand to accept bilateral talks offer from the Indian government, repots BBC. The demand was made by a US diplomats delegation led by First Secretary at the American Embassy in New Delhi Donald New. The diplomats team concluded its three-day visit to the Held Valley on Friday during which they also held a meeting with the APHC Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Talking to BBC on Friday, Ali Shah Geelani said he told the US delegation that Pakistan should be involved in any kind of dialogue on the future of Kashmir. He said all negotiations in the past between any two sides on Kashmir dispute had been proved fruitless. ''Any agreement between two parties ignoring the third had always been useless,'' he said and cited examples of Tashkent and Simla Accords between India and Pakistan and Indra-Abdullah Accord between the Kashmiri leaders and the Indian government. The APHC Chairman also rejected another proposal put forward by the US diplomats that Pakistan can join the proposed dialogue any time at a later stage. Geelani made it clear to the American diplomats team that transfer of power cannot resolve the Kashmir issue. He told them that the recent visit of President Bill Clinton to India was a major disappointment for the people of Kashmir. On the contrary, the Clinton''s visit encouraged the Indian government to use excessive force to crush the freedom struggle in Occupied Kashmir. Another Kashmiri leader Shabbir Ahmad Shah expressed same views during his talks with the American diplomats delegation. The APHC leaders also presented a list containing names of their supporters and other civilians killed by the Indian military recently.