January 2004 News

Mufti, Daughter Under Hizbul Scanner

18 January 2004
The Statesman

New Delhi: With only four days left for the Hurriyat's formal talks with the Centre, it isn't just the five-member committee headed for Delhi that faces a militant threat. Even chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba have come under Mujahideen's scanner. The Hizbul Mujahideen has warned them to refrain from 'exploiting' the outfit's name. There have been persistent reports that the chief minister and his daughter were trying to involve hardliners and even some Hizbul leaders in the talks. The Hizbul, however, warned the father-daughter duo on 16 January against such propaganda. An HM statement asked them to keep away from 'political gimmicks', sources in Srinagar said. The statement was issued by an HM spokesman from Muzaffarabad in PoK. It also said that if the outfit had to negotiate with New Delhi it would not need any political backing. Since the reports about Mr Sayeed and Ms Mehbooba trying to involve Hizbul leaders in the dialogue process gave the impression that there was a tacit understanding between the Mufti- led People's Democratic Party and the HIzbul, the outfit wanted to clarify its stand. It feels such 'misleading' impressions could create confusion in the minds of the Kashmiris. The Jamait-ul- Mujahideen recently issued a warning to Hurriyat chairman Maulvi Abbas Ansari and his group members 'not to kneel at the doorstep of Delhi or else they will face dire consequences'. The five members in the Hurriyat committee include Maulvi Ansari, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone and Fazal Haq Qureshi who is known as a former interlocutor for the HM during the Ramzan ceasefire of 2001.


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