May 2000 News

Freed Malik rejects Centre’s talks offer

4 May 2000
Hindustan Times
Jay Raina

New Delhi: THE JAMMU and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik, who was released from the Tihar jail along with four other Hurriyat activists here this evening, has rejected the Centre''s offer of talks within the parameters of Indian Constitution. In a telephonic conversation with The Hindustan Times soon after his release, Mr Malik said he had taken note of Home Minister LK Advani''s conditional offer of talks during his detention period. ''The Hurriyat will not accept an offer that goes against the very basis of its political struggle over the years,'' the JKLF leader asserted. Reiterating the stand of the Hurriyat, Mr Malik indicated that a final decision on a formal offer for talks would be taken by the leadership after discussions at its fora. The JKLF leader alleged that he was not treated well during the detention period, leading to deterioration of his health. Mr Malik is expected to stay here for a few days and would leave for Srinagar only on the advice of his doctors. The five Hurriyat leaders, including Mr Malik, were released today after detention of over six months under the J&K Public Safety Act. The detained leaders, who were recently shifted here to the Tihar jail from Jodhpur, were released following J&K Government''s orders, official sources said. The sources indicated that the move was aimed at paving the way for return of normalcy in the troubled State and send reconciliation signals to the Kashmiri people for dialogue for durable peace in the State, they said. Besides Malik, the others released are Abdul Ahad Dantho (JKLF), Abdul Ahad Waza (Peo-ples'' Conference), Ghulam Mohd Sankar (Itihad-ul-Muslameen) and Mohd Ashraf Sahrai (JIS). Three prominent Hurriyat leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Prof Abdul Gani and Maulana Abass Ansari, were released earlier this month after over six months'' detention under the J&K Public Safety Act. In a related development, two senior Hurriyat leaders, Mir-Waiz Maulana Umer Farooq and Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, were reported to have met European Union representatives here today. The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of Centre''s move to enter into a dialogue with the Hurriyat leaders. The Hurriyat leaders were understood to have updated the EU representatives on the prevailing situation in the State, including the alleged human rights violations.


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