Saturday, August 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

M A I N   N E W S

Pant: no fresh invitation to Hurriyat

New Delhi, August 3
The Centre today rejected issuing of any fresh invitation to the Hurriyat Conference for talks but said doors were open for the 23-party conglomerate to respond and initiate a dialogue with the government.

“No, we are not going to issue any fresh invitation to the Hurriyat Conference as they are yet to respond to the our earlier offer,” Centre’s interlocutor on Kashmir K.C. Pant told reporters here.

His comments come close on the heels of three senior Hurriyat Conference leaders, including fire-brand Jamaat-e- Islami leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, saying it was ready to consider any “fresh proposal” for talks from the Centre. PTI



PM ‘to wish’ Musharraf on his birthday

Islamabad, August 3
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee could make his next overture at Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as early as next week, a newspaper reported today.

The News said Mr Vajpayee was planning to ring up the General on his birthday on August 11. The paper quoted sources in New Delhi as saying that Mr Vajpayee wanted to reach out to the General on this date.

It pointed out that the ruling National Democratic Alliance had renewed its faith in Mr Vajpayee’s leadership following his recent resignation drama, thus strengthening his hand.

The sources told the paper that once the “small clouds of NDA crisis” were over, some trusted aides, whom Mr Vajpayee mostly consults before dealing with Pakistan, were summoned. “On which date of August is the birthday of General Musharraf?” he is said to have asked one of them.

Once the aide checked that out, he is said to have said: “Get him (Gen Musharraf) on phone for me in the morning of that date.”

The two leaders are expected to meet next on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in September in New York. The paper said: “It is, however, almost certain by now that the Indian Prime Minister will reach New York by September 25. However, if the “happy birthday” call goes well, the two can easily coordinate mutually convenient dates for a meeting in New York.” UNI

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