Hurriyat not to send formal response to Pant
2 May 2001
The Indian Express
Srinagar: The Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday said it was not sending any letter to Government negotiator K C Pant on its response to the Centre's offer for unconditional talks saying it would not engage in any 'useless formalities.' 'Hurriyat does not believe in useless formalities and our statement in the press is enough,' its chairman Prof Abdul Gani Bhat said. Reacting to reports that Pant had reserved his comments on Hurriyat's preconditions pending a formal response from the 23 party alliance, he said 'We have not sent any letter nor do we intend to send one... I do not think a formal letter is necessary.' 'What if we send him a letter? then Pant will send us one and ask us to reciprocate ... No, we are not going to do this,' he said, calling such an exchange a futile exercise. When reminded that Hurriyat itself had waited for a formal invitation from the Centre before formulating a response, he said 'These statements were made in individual capacities... We never made a collective statement setting any precondition of formal invitation.' On JKDFP chief Shabir Ahmad Shah seeking clarifications from Centre before holding talks, the Hurriyat chairman said 'We are least concerned with what he does.' Hurriyat will discuss the future strategy shortly without waiting for what comes out of Shah's parleys with the Centre, he said. 'We have reiterated our stand which is based on political realities and made it known to everybody concerned. We will decide about future course of action unmindful of what others do,' Bhat said.