J&K Poll: Terrorists plan to threaten Hurriyat
21 August 2002
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: With less than a month left for polls, Pakistan-based militant groups plan to issue threats to political candidates and even to Hurriyat Conference for holding talks with the Kashmir Committee led by former Union Minister Ram Jethmalani. Quoted in well-known Pakistan weekly The Friday Times, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen Supreme Commander Ghulam Rasool Shah said ''our principal stand is clear and categorical. Everybody who is directly participating in the forthcoming assembly elections in Kashmir is our target.'' Shah alias Abdullah, who had fled from the custody of Central Jail Srinagar''s staff, also chose to hit out at Hurriyat Conference saying ''no doubt, it is a forum consisting of different parties, but we don''t pin any hope on it since it is against practical struggle (armed crusade).'' Shah''s comments come in the backdrop of Jethmalani recently asking the Government to launch a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan after its President Pervez Musharraf had virtually asked the Hurriyat not to participate in the polls. A spokesman of the United Jehad Council, a conglomerate of 13 militant outfits, also opposed Hurriyat''s meeting with the Kashmir Committee saying ''something carrying the sanction of Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, who has publicly authorised the Committee to begin talks with Kashmiri groups on relevant issues seems amiss.''