Pak Downplays Split In Hurriyat
8 September 2003
The Times of India
New Delhi: Seeking to downplay the split in the All Party Hurriyat Conference, Pakistan on Monday said it was not a 'worrying development' and that it could not 'micro manage' the dynamics of the separatist amalgam. Answering questions relating to the divisions in APHC, that led to the expulsion of its chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari by 13 members of the general council, Foreign Office Spokesman Masood Khan said it was not a split and the situation was being 'needlessly sensationalised beyond a reasonable level.' Asked whether Pakistan would still recognise Anasri as Chairman of APHC, he said at a press briefing, 'It is not for Pakistan to decide what status Maulana Abbas Anasari has. It is for APHC to decide what his status is. We recognise, APHC as a representative organisation of entire Kashmiri opinion.' To a question whether the split was an adverse development for Pakistan, Khan said: 'We cannot micro-manage the dynamics of APHC. They have their own representative democratic character... We can express solidarity to APHC as spokesman of the Kashmiri opinion.' He compared the developments in the amalgam with differences and dissent in other political parties and also brushed aside speculation that India had a role in the split. In response to a question that Indian agents played a role in the split, he said: 'I did not say anything about India... APHC has come of age. It has a political personality. It has acceptability among the masses of Kashmir. Its voice is heard... It has a resilient structure. It can pursue its political objectives, without fear of split or a collapse.'