European Envoys Meet Hurriyat Leaders
25 September 2000
Srinagar: Top diplomats from four European countries today held talks with leaders of the Hurriyat Conference whose chairman, Mr. Abdul Gani Bhat, said later that the international opinion favoured a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. The diplomats, here on a three-day visit to the State, also met the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir People''s Political Front, Mr. Fazal Haq Qureshi, who acted as a go-between in the aborted dialogue between the Centre and Pakistan-based militant outfit Hizb-ul Mujahideen recently. The meeting led by French Ambassador to India, Mr. Bernard de Montferaand, and Hurriyat leaders lasted for about one and half hours. Later, Mr. Montferaand ducked questions from reporters about the nature of discussion with Hurriyat leaders saying the purpose of their current visit was of the same nature as the previous ones by envoys of different countries to Kashmir during past six years. He parried a question whether they had brought a new proposal for solving the Kashmir issue and said the Indian Government was aware of the purpose of the visit of the European delegation to Kashmir. He said a comprehensive report would be submitted by the members to their respective governments. Mr. Bhat told reporters the discussion was focussed on Kashmir issue. Asked whether European countries would intervene in Kashmir, he said ''I cannot talk of mediation or intervention. The world opinion is in favour of resolution of Kashmir issue peacefully through dialogue''.