Hurriyat welcomes Musharraf''s stand on Kashmir
13 January 2002
The Times of India
SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference on Sunday welcomed the stand taken by Pakistan President Gen Perverz Musharraf on Kashmir in his broadcast and asked India to respond positively to resolve the issue.''We welcome the stand taken by Musharraf on the Kashmir issue and urge India to respond positively to find a solution to the issue,'' Chairman of the 23-party separitist conglomerate Abdul Gani Bhat said.Bhat also called for comprehensive efforts to resume dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue peacefully.Claiming there was no ''policy shift'' in Musharraf''s statement, former Hurriyat Chairman and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani said, ''the speech is a realistic one if viewed in its totality, although there is some scope to differ on some points. Generally, the speech is appreciable as far as Musharraf''s stance vis-a-vis Kashmir is concerned.'' However, on the ban imposed by Pakistan on Lashker-e- Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), he said, ''nobody has the right to ban such individual acts where Muslims come to help their bretheren.'' Geelani said Kashmir issue should be resolved in accordance with the aspirations of the people. Another Hurriyat leader Moulana Abbas Ansari described Musharraf''s speech as ''positive'' and termed the ban on LeT and JeM as an ''internal matter.'' If the involvement of any group is proved in September 11, October 1 and December 13 attacks, the group should be brought to book.