I was taken wrongly on Pakistan's Exclusion from Talks, says APHC chief
24 August 2003
ISLAMABAD: Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Maulana Abbas Ansari Sunday said he never gave any statement to keep Pakistan out of first phase of dialogue between India and APHC. Giving a telephonic interview to The Nation from Srinagar, Abbas Ansari has stressed the need for intra-Kashmiri dialogue before involving Pakistan and India to solve the issue. 'Kashmir issue cannot be separated from Pakistan especially when half of its territory is in this country. Pakistan has also fought three wars on Kashmir issue, and so there is no question of such false allegations.' He added that Indian media was distorting facts by misquoting our statements. The APHC leader said that one of the journalists had asked my possible reaction if Indian Prime Minister invited me for dialogue. 'I had responded that we will negotiate with Indian PM and will try to examine his sincerity in this regard. I had also stated that we will demand of the Indian PM to issue us passports so that we could travel to Pakistan with a view to hold discussions with Pakistani leadership and Kashmiris there,' the Hurriyat leader said. To a question Maulana Ansari said that there is no split in All Parties Hurriyat Conference. This is an alliance of 22 parties and all of them have united with an aim to solve the kashmir issue. To another question about his differences with Syed Ali Gillani, the APHC Chairman said that Ali Gillani has differences with Jamaat Islami, and we are bound to accept anyone whom Jamaat will nominate in the Hurriyat Conference. 'Not individuals but parties matter and Hurriyat Conference is the forum of different parties in which individuals keep on coming and going,' he said.