Hurriyat welcomes talks, but wants to be party to it
29 May 2001
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: THE ALL-Party Hurriyat Conference has described the proposed summit between Prime Minister Vajpayee and Pakistan's chief executive Parvez Musharraf as a welcome step, but stressed that the amalgam leadership should also be involved in the dialogue to make it "more fruitful and result-oriented". In a statement issued after a day-long meeting of its executive council, the apex decision-making body, the Hurriyat said that it had always craved for permanent friendship between the two countries and the coming summit could be a step in that direction. The Hurriyat, however, cautioned that no friendship was possible unless the aspirations of Kashmir people were addressed. The Hurriyat impressed upon the heads of the two government to involve Hurriyat, too, in the dialogue as it represented the genuine aspirations of the people of Kashmir. "If that is not done, the issue of Kashmir will never get resolved and so will never peace return to the sub-continent", the Hurriyat said adding, "Hurriyat will continue its struggle against this sort of attitude". Reacting to PM’s statement asking the conglomerate to talk to Centre's interlocutor K C Pant before pressing for a meeting with Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, the Hurriyat Conference today said it did not want to comment. "The Prime Minister has every right to make any statement he chooses likewise we have every right to respond or not to respond", Hurriyat chairman Prof Abdul Gani Bhat said here. Butt described Pant's activities as "without substance" and said "if heads of two governments are to meet and discuss a composite agenda including Kashmir, where does K C Pant figure". The Hurriyat chairman said that he had every respect for Pant "but that should not prevent me from calling a spade a spade". Pant afterhis arrival in Srinagarin Monday held separate meetings with Urban Development Minister Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah, former union minister Saifuddin Soz, Communist leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, JKLF (Aman group) representative Dr Hijazi, and representatives of separatist Quami Mushawrati Council.