M A I N   N E W S

Hurriyat ready to drop plebiscite demand

New Delhi, January 25
In a significant statement, the Hurriyat Conference has said it was willing to set aside its demand for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Hurriyat is moving away from its earlier stand to facilitate peace talks. We are ready to set aside our demand for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir,’’ Hurriyat chairman Moulvi Abbas Ansari said in Aaj Tak’s ‘Seedhi Baat’ programme telecast last night.

He said the Hurriyat was in favour of sitting together with all the parties concerned and working out a solution that would be acceptable to all.

About the Hurriyat’s desire to travel to Pakistan, the amalgam chairman said he wishes to travel to that country on an Indian passport.

Pointing out that he was denied a passport to go on a Haj pilgrimage, Moulvi Ansari said he now wants to show the Pakistan government that he has been given a passport by the Indian government to travel to Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

He claimed that the 2002 Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections ‘’were not fair and held only to get rid of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.’’

The Hurriyat chairman said if fair poll was to be held, even a candidate nominated by him could defeat Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The 23-party separatist conglomerate had not participated in the Assembly elections.

Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party today appealed to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to invite the representatives of Jammu and Ladakh region to resolve the vexed Kashmir issue.

“The legitimate and genuine representatives of Jammu and Ladakh regions should be invited to work out an acceptable solution to the Kashmir imbroglio. Kashmiri Pandits should also be allowed to take part in dialogue process,” Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh said in a statement here.

The Panthers Party chief said representatives from Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir should be allowed to hold talks as both have been the principal victims of violence and bullets. — Agencies


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