December 2001 News

Hurriyat for tripartite talks

10 December 2001
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: Reacting to the Centre constituting a ''core group'' to hold formal or informal talks with Hurriyat Conference leadership, the 23-party alliance today ruled out talks with New Delhi at individual level and insisted on its demand for tripartite talks to resolve Kashmir issue. ''It is premature to comment on the constitution of a core group by the Centre to hold talks with Hurriyat leadership individually or collectively as nothing has been officially conveyed to Hurriyat as yet,'' Hurriyat Conference chairman Abdul Gani Bhat told PTI. ''We know nothing about this (formation of a core group) and the Government has not contacted me or any other Hurriyat leader in this regard,'' Bhat added. Ruling out individual participation of Hurriyat leaders in the proposed dialogue, the Hurriyat chairman said ''Kashmir is a sensitive issue and cannot be resolved by holding individual dialogue or bilateral talks.'' Bhat said ''keeping in mind the nature and sensitiveness of the issue (Kashmir problem) and to make the proposed dialogue a comprehensive, fruitful, result-oriented and serious effort,it was necessary to involve in the dialogue all the parties to the issue.'' He said he cannot give his individual reaction to the Centre’s move at the moment. Hurriyat is a joint political platform and its executive committee was competent to take a decision in this regard. Bhat, however, said, Hurriyat will wait for the formal official announcement, go into the agenda of the proposed dialogue and decide the response of the amalgam at the executive council meeting. He said the process of dialogue could not progress if it is aimed to ''ward off'' the international pressure on New Delhi to resolve the Kashmir issue. ''The dialogue process will prove futile exercise if no serious initiative was taken to address the basic Kashmir issue which has brought the South Asia on the brink of war'', he said. He cautioned the Centre of breaking the Hurriyat Conference and said ''efforts to buy individual Hurriyat leaders will not succeed. It is not easy to fish at Dal Lake .... Buying individual Hurriyat leaders.'' Meanwhile, Kashmir unit of BJP today welcomed the formation of a core group by the Centre to initiate dialogue with Hurriyat. ''The decision of the Centre to initiate dialogue with Hurriyat is a welcome development,'' vice-president of State BJP and former MP, Abdul Rashid Kabuli said addressing party workers here. He expressed hope that the dialogue between the Centre and Hurriyat will prove beneficial for Jammu and Kashmir to overcome the present political and economic crisis.

 

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