Hurriyat to respond positively to Centre''s fresh proposal
23 October 2001
New Delhi: The Hurriyat Conference on Tuesday said it will respond positively to any fresh proposal from the Centre for talks provided a deeper sense for resolving the dispute was exhibited by the Government. ''The earlier invitation of the Government has become redundant after the Agra summit or rather it is a dead issue now. But if there is a new initiative from the Centre which is aimed at solving the dispute, we will respond in a positive manner,'' former Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq told the mediapersons. Mirwaiz Umer, who is a part of the Hurriyat team camping in the Capital to meet representatives of various embassies, said the Hurriyat Conference has always been in favour of evolving a mechanism under which the vexed Kashmir issue is resolved through political means. Asked about the growing suicide attacks in the Valley including the one on Monday at the Awantipura airbase, the former Hurriyat chairman said, ''Suicide attacks are a part of the strategy of the militants and we have nothing to say on it. But yes, the Hurriyat Conference is of the firm belief that no innocent should be killed either by the militants or by the security forces.'' Commenting on the discordant voices emerging from the amalgam over the US-led air strikes on Afghanistan, the former chairman said, ''The Hurriyat Conference is united in condemning the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington but at the same time we do not adhere to or support the attacks on innocent people in Afghanistan.'' Asked specifically about the pro-Taliban speeches by a senior member of the Hurriyat, Farooq said, ''This will be his personal view.'' About the attacks on Afghanistan, he said, ''The United States and Britain should exercise a deeper sense of accommodation and pursue a serious diplomatic and political channel in this matter.'' He said both the countries should rope in more and more muslim countries, who could solve the issue. However, Mirwaiz regretted the stand of organistion of Islamic Conference and said, ''The OIC has failed to come out with a clear stand on Afghanistan.'' Asked about some moderate Hurriyat leaders facing threats from various militant organisations, he said, ''Though militants are an important elements of the Kashmir issue, we hope that they would refrain from making irresponsible statements.'' Reacting to the amendment of the statement by the US secretary of state Colin Powell on Kashmir during his visit to India, he said whether Kashmir is ''the central'' issue or ''a central'' issue it did not alter the fact that Kashmir issue has to be resolved with respect to the wishes of the people.