July 2001 News

Malik''s return could spell trouble for Hurriyat

26 July 2001
The Times of India

New Delhi: Hurriyat Conference is likely to witness some uneasiness within its ranks with the return of Yaseen Malik, president of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which opposed the conglomerate''s meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, from his visit to the United States and Britain on Thursday. Though Malik did not prefer to speak to press, acting chairman of JKLF Bashir Bhat had said earlier that the executive of the group would meet soon after the arrival of Malik and decide its future course of action. Malik, who was away for nearly two months, returned here on Thursday afternoon. JKLF had vehemently opposed the idea of meeting between Hurriyat Conference leaders and Musharraf, saying any meeting should have all the three parties - India, Pakistan and Kashmiris, present at the dialogue table. Malik, who claims to be a pioneer in making peace efforts as he announced a unilateral ceasefire in 1994, has been propogating the idea of an independent Kashmir during his talks in the US and Britain. JKLF sources said their cadre had been feeling that they were unable to propogate the independence line while remaining in the Hurriyat Conference. The group also boycotted the executive meeting of the amalgam last week. In another development, a senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone arrived here from Srinagar. Considered to be a moderate, Lone is on his way to Kolkata to attend a seminar.


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