Both Hurriyat factions will discuss Centre's invitation
17 June 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar: Any invitation from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government for talks on Kashmir will be discussed in the executive council and Majlis Shoura before taking a final decision, senior leaders of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) said here today. Chairman of the breakaway HC Syed Ali Shah Geelani said 'we are not against resolution of Kashmir issue peacefully through talks which should be sincere, result oriented and meaningful.' However, the chairman of the HC (Abbas) Moulvi Abbas Ansari said the Executive Council (EC) of the amalgam is meeting next week to discuss the invitation if it was received by then. So far no invitation has been received from the Centre for taking the peace process forward. Mr Geelani told UNI that his faction of the HC was in favour of peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue. There is no change in the earlier stand of the HC that any move to find a durable solution to Kashmir will be supported, he added. He said if any invitation will be received from the Centre for talks, it will be dicussed in the Majlis Shoura (MS), the highest decision making body of HC. Let India and Pakistan start a meaningful dialogue on Kashmir first, he said adding that we would join the process at a later stage after we are satisfied with the dialogue between two countries. There is no change in the ground situation after the UPA Government assumed power at the Centre. This makes the Indian sincerity doubtful, Mr Geelani said. Untill India changes its attitute towards Kashmir issue, nothing can be achieved even if talks are held with everyone, he added. Refusing to talk to Centreís interlocutor N N Vohra, Moulvi Abbas told UNI that no formal invitation has so far been received from the Centre for the third round of talks which was actually scheduled to be held in the last week of this month. The HC has held two rounds of talks with then Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani on Kashmir and agreed to carry forward the process. However, change in the Government at the Centre has delayed the third round between HC and the Centre. If the invitation is received it will be put before the members of the general council and executive counil and the working committee will take a final decision. However, he said, we are in favour of a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue through dialogue. When asked if the HC leaders will hold talks with Mr Vohra, who will be here to attend four-day Indo-European conference on bilateral issues, Moulvi Abbas said we have already our made stand clear on this issue in the past. We are not going to hold talks with Mr Vohra on Kashmir, he said. When asked if former chairman Moulvi Omar will be holding talks with Mr Vohra as reported in the media, he said it was totally baseless. Mr Vohra is scheduled to visit the house of Moulvi Omarís uncle Moulvi Mushtaq, who was killed by unidentified gunmen recently. It is just a courtery visit to condole the death of Moulvi Mushtaq and nothing should be drawn out of it, Moulvi Abbas said.