March 2000 News

''Hurriyat Wants Clinton To Know Their View Point''

7 March 2000
Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

Jammu: The All-Party Hurriyat Conference ( APHC) is not in race with the Central Government to score a point by proposing to meet US President Bill Clinton during his visit to INdia later this month, but only wants to air their ''view point''. IN an exclusive interview to The HIndustan Times, APHC acting chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said:''We are not trying to score a point over the Government .Our effort is only to air our view point.''He argued that Clinton can help create an atmosphere wherein,''INdia shuns its military approach and looks towards a political solution to the Kashmir crisis.'' The Mirwaiz, who along with his senior colleague Abdul Ghani Lone, had lobbied hard in New Delhi to fix an audience with Clinton , said that the effort was directed at '' letting the American president know the KAshmiri viewpoint''.This was imperative because ''our view has not been expressed before him like the Indian or Pakistani standpoints.'' According to the Hurriyat, any solution to Kashmir must apply to the undivided J and K , including its northern areas, which Pakistan claims are its territory.''Though this clashes with Pakistan''s policy, this is the Hurriyat''s stand,'' the Mirwaiz observed. Sounding a realistic note , he said that the APHC was not expecting wonders to be worked overnight with Clinton visiting south Asia. But,''what we are expecting is that since Clinton has expressed his desire to resolve the KAshmir issue, he would take our point of view into account.'' ''The visit could pave way for a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Kashmir issue'',he said and added:''It is not necessary to call it mediation, it can very well be regarded as international assisttance. What''s the harm in that.''


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