Hurriyat ready for talks if Pak involved
28 December 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A day after Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani stated that the Centre would hold talks with even those who did not participate in the Assembly polls, Hurriyat Conference today said it was ready for a dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue if Pakistan was involved in the process. ''We are ready to hold talks with anybody to find a durable and long lasting solution to Kashmir issue'', senior Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told PTI. However, it was necessary to involve Pakistan and Kashmiri people, which are both principle parties to the dispute, he said reacting to Advaniís statement in Jammu yesterday. The talks do not have to be concurrent, Farooq said. ''If the Government is serious about resolving the issue, it has to talk to the real representatives of the people of Kashmir'', the Hurriyat leader said. He described the spurt in civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir by unidentified gunmen as unfortunate and said Hurriyat Conference does not approve of such acts. Farooq said such acts need to be condemned but we also have to address the root cause of the violence in order to put an end to these killings.