Advani invites Hurriyat for ‘relevant’ dialogue
9 August 2002
The Asian Age
New Delhi: In a major boost to the electoral process in Kashmir, deputy prime minister L.K. Advani on Friday authorised the Jethmalani Committee to invite separatist leaders including Hurriyat representatives and Shabir Shah for a dialogue process on ''relevant issues.'' Mr Advani made the offer during a 40-minute meeting with the Kashmir Committee headed by former law minister Ram Jethmalani. ''Mr Advani authorised and requested the committee to declare publicly that he would welcome anyone from the state who has any relevant issues to discuss with him and that no one need wait for a formal invitation,'' Mr Jethmalani said in a press statement. In particular, Mr Advani said the open invitation could be communicated to Hurriyat leaders and Shabir Shah of Jammu Kashmir People’s Democratic Freedom Party. The committee delegation, which also comprised of Times of India editor Dilip Padgaonkar and advocate Ashok Bhan, conveyed to the deputy prime minister the disappointment of some of the political leaders in the state about the non-commencement of the dialogue which was promised by Mr Advani during his speech in the Rajya Sabha. The Kashmir Committee termed the response of Mr Advani as ''extremely constructive.''