Jammu leaders blame Musharraf for Agra summit deadlock
18 July 2001
The Asian Age
Jammu: Blaming Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for the deadlock at Agra summit, leaders of All Parties Jammu Statehood Movement (APJSM) said his ''stubborn'' attitude in inviting Hurriyat leaders and insistence on making Kashmir the core issue led to ''failure'' of the talks. ''Besides, Musharraf''s refusal to talk on cross-border terrorism and calling the dreaded Pakistani Militant - Azhar Masood - a religious leader were other factors that led to the failure of talks in Agra,'' the APJSM leaders said in a statement here. They urged the government of India to adopt ''hard options'' for curbing militancy in the state. President of Jammu Mukhti Morcha (JMM) Virinder Gupta, while condemning Musharraf for ''not responding positively'' to the peace efforts initiated by India, said he had shown ''adamancy to stick to Kashmir issue and dictating its solution on his own terms''. ''Musharraf''s stand not to stop abetting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir reflected the bent of his mind and his disinterest in restoration of peace,'' Gupta said in a handout. President of state unit of BJP Daya Krishen Kotwal said the Pakistani president did not sign the joint declaration as ''he was under pressure from his own side''. ''Breaking of talks in between was most unfortunate for Pakistan as it was our neighbouring country which could have benefited more with its success,'' he said. Kotwal, however, said the talks did not fail but ended in a stalemate. ''Our Prime Minister has accepted the invitation extended to him by Musharraf and will be visiting Pakistan to continue the dialogue.