January 2001 News

All 7 Hurriyat leaders won’t get passports

8 January 2001
The Statesman

New Delhi: Mr LK Advani today said the Centre would not give passports to all the seven Hurriyat leaders who want to visit Pakistan for talks with militant leaders. “Some of them will be given passports,” the Union home minister said, while Hurriyat leaders expressed apprehension that their 15 January visit may not materialise because of the Centre’s “dilly-dallying tactics” in issuing passports. Earlier in the day, Hurriyat chairman Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat said: “I’m not sure we will get the passports before 15 January.” In Pakistan, the council chairman, Syed Salahuddin Ahmed, said the Hurriyat team’s visit would not yield results unless all the seven members were given passports. A government spokesman here said some Hurriyat members already had passports, while the cases of others were being considered. “Their applications would be considered under normal existing rules.” Prof Bhat and other Hurriyat leaders, including Mr Abdul Ghani Lone and Mr Yasin Malik, will leave for Srinagar tomorrow to attend a Hurriyat executive meeting on 11 January. Prof Bhat said there was no question of finalising the delegations before the passports were issued. He said: “We have clearly stated that we want passports for all the seven members of the executive. I do not draw lines between so called moderates and hardliners.” He said the executive would decide “whether a delegation would go (to Pakistan) if passports are not issued to all the seven members.” On the United Jehad Council’s demand that the Hurriyat should spell out their agenda before visiting Pakistan, Prof Bhat said: “What agenda? We will hold talks with the Pakistani government, intelligentsia and militant leaders.” Charge against Hurriyat: The Jamiatul Mujahideen has alleged that some Hurriyat leaders were trying to weaken the “jehad” against India in Kashmir, AFP adds from Muzaffarabad.

 

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