Hurriyat welcomes Mufti''s stand on political prisoners
28 October 2002
The Times of India
NEW DELHI: The Hurriyat Conference on Monday cautiously welcomed the announcement by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who will head the next government in Jammu and Kashmir, to release political prisoners but maintained that the Kashmir problem could be resolved only through a dialogue involving India, Pakistan and the separatist conglomerate. ''Talk of giving a healing touch to people of the state and release of all political prisoners are good steps if implemented. We have to see whether Mufti Sayeed fulfils the promise,'' Hurriyat spokesman Shabir Ahmed Dar said here. ''But the government formation and its programme are short-cuts which will not take us anywhere as far as lasting solution to the Kashmir issue is concerned,'' he said. Maintaining that the issue can be resolved only through a trilateral dialogue involving India, Pakistan and Hurriyat Conference, Dar said ''We ask both the countries to shed their rigid stance and hold negotiations. ''We want a resolution of the Kashmir issue and are not interested in government formation in the state,'' he said. On Sayeed''s contention that he would ask the Central government to hold talks with Pakistan, Dar expressed doubts on whether New Delhi would accept that.