|HOME | NEWS | J&K TALKS AND THE CARNAGE | REPORT|
August 7, 2000
No peace without Hurriyat, says chairman Bhat
Onkar Singh in Srinagar
Chairman of the All Party Hurriyat Conference, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, has denied that the Hurriyat leaders have been marginalised in the negotiations being conducted between the Government of India and the Hizbul Mujahideen.
He also described the step taken by the government to initiate peace talks with the Hizbul Mujahideen as a "broken, fractured step but a step nevertheless in the right direction."
"We have not been marginalised as Farooq (Abdullah) would have the world believe. The Hurriyat is the voice of the people of Kashmir, and can never be marginalised. Kashmir is a political problem and it should be solved politically. It is all right to talk to the Hizbul but eventually it is the Hurriyat which matters because we represent the heart-beat of the people of Kashmir," Bhat told rediff.com in an interview in Srinagar this morning.
Asked if he has spoken to Hizb commander Syed Salahudin after the talks began, Bhat said he has not spoken to the Hizbul chief in recent years. "But he and I spent time in jail together after he had lost the assembly elections which he contested before he took up the gun," he disclosed.
Bhat shares the view that the Kashmir negotiations are being carried out under pressure from American President Bill Clinton. "After the American president visited the subcontinent this year, there has been a perceptible change in the attitude of the governments of India and Pakistan. But for the American pressure, the negotiations may not have been on," he averred.
He also stressed the need to hold tripartite talks between the governments of India, Pakistan and the APHC to resolve the Kashmir problem. "The three parties have to be involved because one part of Kashmir is with Pakistan, and the other with India. So how can you say that Pakistan is not a party? The talks need not have any conditions, otherwise you talk only within that framework and no meaningful purpose can be achieved.
"Here what we are talking about is the commitment made by Pandit Nehru to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the United Nations. He had said the people of Kashmir would be given the right to determine whether they want to live with India or Pakistan. Now the situation has changed. The people of Kashmir want independence which includes that part of Kashmir which is with Pakistan," Bhat explained.
However, he said he believes the problem of Kashmir would be solved in the next couple of years to the "flutter of all hearts across the globe", and that the Hurriyat would play an important role in the ushering in of peace.
Denying that there was a split in the Hurriyat Conference, Bhat however, admitted that he had at one stage suggested that the apex executive, which consists of seven leaders, be split into two, to talk to India and Pakistan respectively. "We are now looking for an independent Kashmir including PoK," he said emphatically.
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK