April 2001 News

Hizbul refuses to talk Kashmir without Pak presence

2 April 2001
The Hindustan Times

Muzaffarabad, (PoK): Pakistan-based militant groups on Monday rejected India's plan to open talks with separatist leaders saying that dialogue to seek a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue without Pakistan would be futile. "We have categorically told New Delhi that only three-way talks could help find a solution to this problem," said Salim Hashmi, spokesman for the largest Kashmir militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen. Hashmi dismissed Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani's offer of dialogue to Kashmiri leaders as a bid to hoodwink the international community. Speaking in an interview on the British Broadcasting Corporation's "Hardtalk" programme, which will be aired on Wednesday, Advani said India would hold talks with separatist leaders "perhaps as early as May." However, he ruled out talks with Pak and said the talks would be held with Kashmiri groups in India. "Advani's announcement is nothing but farce, just like India's so called ceasefire," Hashmi said. Another Kashmiri outfit, Harkat-ul Mujahideen, said India was trying to mislead the world community by making 'sham" announcements. "India is not serious about a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem," Harkat spokesman Amiruddin Mughal said.


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