Hurriyat row over foreign militants
10 December 2000
Srinagar: Noisy scenes, short of physical clashes, were witnessed at the All Party Hurriyat Conference headquarters during a seminar on human rights here today. Trouble started when a speaker criticised Hurriyat leader, Mr Abdul Gani Lone, for his remarks against the presence of foreign militants in the state. He said it was Mr Lone who invited Taliban militants to Kashmir. The supporters of Mr Lone objected and raised slogans against the speaker, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen. Heated exchanges started and warring groups tried to hurl chairs on each other. Order was restored when senior leaders intervened. Mr Lone had reportedly said foreign militants will derail the peace process in Kashmir. The J&K Jamait Islami, Dukhtaran Milat and some other outfits have also criticised Mr Lone for his remarks. Former Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said the Kashmir issue would be resolved only through tripartite talks. Kashmir will become part of Pakistan or get independence, Mr Geelani said. He criticised Hurriyat leaders who visited Delhi recently He opposed converting the LoC into an international border. Mr Shakeel Bakshi said the Kashmir issue would not be resolved without the participation of Pakistan. Some speakers also criticised senior Hurriyat leaders for what they said begging to India for passport so that they could visit Pakistan.