J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

APHC wants formal invitation

Jammu, January 8
Even though the APHC leadership is not excited over the decision of the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, to hold talks with various political and social groups in Jammu and Kashmir, it will debate the need for its participation in such interaction at its executive committee meeting.

According to Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, a senior leader of the APHC, "the date for the meeting of the executive committee has not been fixed yet. It will be decided by our chairman, Molvi Umar Farooq.”

Prof Bhat said the recent announcement made in Delhi that Mr Patil would commence a political level dialogue with various groups, picking up the thread from where special representative, Mr N.N.Vohra, had left “is confusing.”

He told this correspondent today that “since there was no dialogue between Mr Vohra and the APHC in the past, picking up the thread where it was left by the government negotiator clearly indicates that parleys with us are not on the cards.”

He said: “Mr Patil has also announced that talks will be held with various mainstream political groups which also indicates that the APHC is out of the line because we are considered to be separatists.” 

He said the Central Government’s assertion that the “ball is in our court as an invitation has been sent to the Hurriyat

Conference for talks is untenable.” He said till date “we have not received any formal invitation. Not a single leader of our conglomerate was even sounded about the talks verbally.”

The APHC leader said: “When the two rounds of talks between us and the then NDA Government was held we had receieved formal invitation from Delhi. Ours is a major organisation in Kashmir. We have a constitution and as such we expect a formal invitation to be sent by Delhi for talks so that our executive committee can discuss whether to accept the offer for talks or not,” he said.

Santoor player Abhay Sopori performs at a function in Jammu on Saturday
Santoor player Abhay Sopori performs at a function in Jammu on Saturday. The evening was dedicated to tsunami victims. — PTI



A former chairman of the APHC, Molvi Abbas Ansari said: “we will discuss whether to accept the offer for talks with Delhi or not only when we receive a written invitation. We are not ready to run to Mr Patil or Mr Vohra for audience.”

The head of the rival separatist conglomerate, Tehrik Kashmir, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has already announced that his group will not accept any offer for talks.

from Delhi. His contention is that tripartite talks should be held. His group is opposed to Indo-Pakistan talks going on one level and parleys with Kashmiri leaders on the other level.

Indications are that the APHC, the JKLF, the Democratic Freedom Party, headed by Mr Shabir Ahmed Shah, and other splinter groups in the separatist camp may agree to enter a dialogue with the Union Home Minister if a formal invitation was sent to them.

A senior separatist leader said: “we wanted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to hold talks with us. Anyway, if Mr Patil has been asked to represent the Government of India, we may hold a dialogue with him if a written invitation is sent to us. But we will not talk to any negotiator who does not hold a ministerial rank.”


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