January 2004 News

Iran agrees to help Hurriyat

24 January 2004
The Dawn

SRINAGAR: Iran has agreed to encourage India to allow moderate APHC leaders to visit Pakistan for talks with the Kashmiri leadership there, a moderate leader said on Saturday. 'The Iranians have assured us that they will try to motivate India to allow us to visit Pakistan,' Maulana Abbas Ansari, chairman of the moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, told AFP by telephone from New Delhi. On Friday, Maulana Ansari and four other moderate leaders of the APHC, paid a call on the Iranian ambassador to India at Tehran's embassy in New Delhi. Maulana Ansari said on Saturday he was optimistic the visit to Pakistan would be allowed as 'it will not harm anyone. It will push forward the peace process'. APHC sources said Iran might also try to bridge differences between Maulana Ansari's moderate faction and Pakistan. Islamabad has given recognition to Syed Ali Geelani, who split away from the APHC in September with a pro-Pakistan group who now claim they are the real Hurriyat.-AFP


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