Vajpayee-Musharraf summit is a window of opportunity: Hurriyat
11 June 2001
The Indian Express
New Delhi: The Hurriyat Conference today said that the Indo-Pak summit was a ‘‘window of opportunity which offered a chance to encourage dialogue and create a new phase in the relationship between India and Pakistan’’. Hurriyat spokesman A.M. Bandey today told The Indian Express that the conglomerate’s decision to suspend all its mass agitation programmes in the troubled state was outcome of the growing optimism in Kashmir about the summit talks. ‘‘We want to demonstrate our sincerity in a meaningful dialogue on Kashmir, which, we feel, is reflected through the proposed Vajpayee-Musharraf summit and hence the statement (about suspension of mass agitation)... All sides are keen to cooperate in creating a congenial atmosphere for the summit,’’ he said. Denying reports that the Hurriyat was reacting under directives from Islamabad, Bandey insisted that the Hurriyat was keen to be part of any serious effort to resolve the dialogue. ‘‘We are keen to meet Prime Minister Vajpayee for a direct dialogue with him on Kashmir. As far as meeting General Musharraf is concerned, it is a non-issue with us as most of the Hurriyat leaders have already met him. Meeting K.C. Pant would not serve any purpose because ultimately only Prime Minister is in a position to take decisions,’’ he said. However, sources said the Charar-e-sharief incident in which a uniformed person is reported to have lobbed a grenade on devotees who had assembled for Friday prayers in a mosque was an alarm call for the Hurriyat. The Hurriyat leaders felt that ‘‘there were lose elements interested in vitiating the atmosphere on eve of the Indo-Pak summit and blame it all on the militants and the Hurriyat.’’ In New Delhi, the BJP today termed Hurriyat’s suspension of anti-India activities as a ‘‘positive step”.