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Include Hurriyat in talks, says Pak
Sumir Kaul and MK Razdan

Lahore, November 20
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today insisted on the inclusion of Hurriyat Conference in the dialogue aimed at solving the Kashmir issue saying Islamabad considers it to be the true representative of the people of Kashmir.

“We want inclusion of Hurriyat Conference in the talks as they are the true representatives of the people of Kashmir and have been leading the struggle for their right of self-determination”, he told a group of Indian journalists who would be visiting Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

To a question whether the other groups, including those who have participated in the elections and have been part of the government, should also be included in the talks, Musharraf said, “it is an open end. Anyone can come but inclusion of Hurriyat Conference is mandatory.”

The General said Pakistan wanted both the factions of the Hurriyat to unite and also dismissed allegations that the split was engineered by Islamabad.

“Internal differences can be there but they should unite for a common agenda”, Musharraf said.

He said both the factions should sit and resolve their differences. “Even if the differences are not resolved, they should at least come on a common platform and represent the wishes of the people”, he said.

The Pakistan President said Islamabad was not averse to the meeting of Hurriyat Conference leaders with New Delhi but “if they talk to India, they should be allowed to talk to Pakistan as well”.

President Musharraf talked tough on Kashmir saying Pakistan would not give up its “maximalist position” on plebiscite and implementation of UN resolutions unless New Delhi met it “half way”.

“I do not believe in mincing words,” the General told a conference of journalists from SAARC nations here before voicing his obvious unhappiness over statements of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir although he did not mention the Indian leader by name.

Musharraf referred to statements emanating from India that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of the country and that there would be no redrawing of the borders and said that lately the “vibes coming to us” were not encouraging.

Recalling his recent proposal of demilitarising seven regions of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control followed by a change in their status, Musharraf said Islamabad was being told that India would listen to such proposals if given formally.

“It is not a song one has to listen. We expect to be talking. We expect answers,” he told the fourth conference of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA). — PTI 



Include Kashmiris in talks: Pak oppn

Islamabad, November 20
Pakistan’s opposition parties today called for the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions, asking Islamabad and New Delhi to ensure the participation of Kashmiris in the dialogue process.

The opposition’s demand came as the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) leadership met in Islamabad and decided to launch a countrywide movement for the repeal of the 17th Amendment Bill. — UNI


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