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Has the Hurriyat missed the bus?

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
May 23, 2006 13:15 IST
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Political parties and human rights activists have said that the All Party Hurriyat Conference has erred by rejecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invitation to join the second roundtable conference on Kashmir to be held in Srinagar on May 24 and 25.

When asked whether the Hurriyat has made mistake, senior leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat said, "I have nothing to say on the matter. Whatever needs to be said is there in the newspapers and I have nothing more to add to it."

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Maulvi Umer Farooq could not be reached for comment.

In Delhi, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah said that the Hurriyat should have joined the roundtable.

"The prime minister has shown tremendous courage by deciding to go ahead with the roundtable conference despite Sunday's terrorist attack. The Hurriyat leadership should have joined the discussions," Dr Abdullah said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Brinda Karat described the stand of the Hurriyat as unfortunate.

"Our stand is that all the political formations should come together and join the roundtable. After all, a solution has to come through dialogue only. It is unfortunate that one political formation should decide not to attend the roundtable conference," she said.

Former chief justice of Delhi high court and human rights activist Justice Rajinder Sachar, in a write-up in The Tribune, questioned the Hurriyat's credentials.

'The Hurriyat's refusal to participate in the round table has cast great doubt on their genuineness and their commitment to the peace process,' he said.


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Onkar Singh in New Delhi