No rush to include Pakistan: JKDFP
4 May 2001
New Delhi: Rejecting that the Kashmir issue could be solved by any bilateral talks, Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) on Friday said it was not, however, pressing for inclusion of Pakistan in the talks immediately. The party also made it clear that it would take the next step after receiving a "right response" to its four "clarifications" sought from the Government negotiator Mr K C Pant by its party president Mr Shabir Shah. "We are not insisting that all the three parties - India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir- should be at the table at the same time. New Delhi can even hold talks with Islamabad and Kashmiris separately," JKDFP secretary general Maulana Abdullah Tari told reporters here. Tari, who along with JKDFP's spokesman Saleem Geelani submitted Mr Shah's letter to Mr Pant yesterday, said "however, a final decision on the Kashmir issue cannot be arrived at without involvement of Pakistan in the talks." Claiming that Pakistan was a party to the Kashmir issue "historically and geographically", Tari said "peace in the state can be restored only when the core issue is solved." Ruling out the possibility of resolution of the issue through bilateral negotiations, Tari said "history is witness that all previous bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan or New Delhi and Kashmir have failed." On the letter to Mr Pant, Tari said "the Centre should clarify its agenda of talks and whether it considered the Kashmir issue as a law and order problem or a dispute which needs to be settled, and that New Delhi should not call "everybody" for talks as it would create "confusion".