December 2000 News

Hurriyat dodges queries on continuing violence

26 December 2000
The Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

Jammu: THE ALL-PARTY Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is still tight-lipped over the continuing violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The Hurriyat parried all queries on the violent incidents and said that the issue would be discussed at its executive council meeting scheduled for January 2. They denounced ''violation of ceasefire by Indian security forces'', but refused to comment on violent acts by militant outfits. However, Hurriyat leaders appeared disturbed by the escalating violence, especially because of the high toll in civilian casualties. Hurriyat chairman Abdul Ghani Bhat was not in Srinagar to comment on Monday''s car bomb explosion. The Hurriyat stand has been that it cannot ask militants to halt violence until it talks to their leadership both in Jammu and across the Line of Control (LoC), and hence the visit to Pakistan is imperative. When approached by the media, senior Hurriyat Conference leader Abdul Ghani Lone refused to make any comment. ''What can I say? It is for the Hurriyat as a whole to say''. He said the next meeting of the Hurriyat would take this issue into account. The meeting will also discuss who would go to Pakistan to participate in the discussions with militant leaders and the Pakistan government. The Hurriyat received a shot in the arm when the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen yesterday announced that it would offer its co-operation if it feels that the secessionist conglomerate is working ''as per aspirations of the people and if the steps are in right direction''. This is for the first time since July this year that the Hizb has come out with such a statement.


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