November 1999 News


Spell out extent of freedom sought, Hurriyat told

11 November 1999
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: The All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders should clearly spell out the extent of freedom they are seeking for Kashmir, Law Minister Ram Jethmalani said today. They should assure that any future set-up of Jammu and Kashmir would be democratic and secular in character as a pre-requisite for any dialogue with the Government.

Taking a small gathering of intellectuals and political leaders by surprise, Mr Jethmalani hastened to add that he was expressing these views in his "personal capacity" and not as a Minister.

He was responding to APHC leader Abdul Gani Lone's views on Kashmir crisis in the course of a debate on "Challenges before the Vajpayee Government". Reacting to Mr Lone's view that the Indian Government was suffering from arrogance of power and had no willingness to discuss the problem with the people of Kashmir, Mr Jethmalani noted that the Government had limited options on Kashmir due to "certain contradictions". "Why can't we sit across the table and discuss? You tell us how much freedom you want for J&K," Mr Jethmalani pointedly asked of Mr Lone.

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