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Ex-Hizb commander joins Hurriyat

Source: PTI
January 23, 2004 14:06 IST
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A former Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist on Friday joined the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.

"Every way ends on the negotiating table... We welcome and fully support the talks between Government of India and Hurriyat Conference," Mohammad Akbar Bhat alias Zaffar Abdul Fateh said in Srinagar.

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Fateh said he was hopeful that the dialogue process would yield positive results.

He, however, said unity among the separatist ranks at this crucial juncture was a necessity.

Asked whether a ceasefire should be announced by the Centre and terrorists, Bhat, who joined joined the Salvation Movement -- one of the nine new admissions into the Hurriyat -- said the atmosphere should be conducive for the talks to succeed.

Bhat, an aide of slain Hizb commander and pro-talks terrorist Abdul Majid Dar, had defended the 17-day July 2000 ceasefire, but put the blame on the Centre for its failure.

Asked if he would appeal to terrorists to lay down arms, he said "It is their decision... They are all mature people."

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