Hurriyat backtracks again on autonomy issue
27 September 2002
The Times of India
Srinagar: Former Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Friday backtracked on his statement that greater autonomy could provide a solution to the Kashmir problem. He was addressing a Friday congregation at the Jama Masjid in Srinagar. The Mirwaiz stated that neither was autonomy an issue for the Hurriyat, nor a solution to the Kashmir problem. He had earlier said in an interview that autonomy was an alternative to independence. This is not the first time that Hurriyat leaders had backtracked. Recently, Farooq had told a private television network that no one should threaten people and those willing to vote should be allowed to do so. However, after serious opposition from within the Hurriyat, the Mirwaiz backtracked the next day. The Mirwaiz even denied giving an interview to the US- based Time magazine in which he had accused the militants of being thieves.