March 2002 News

Polls no solution to Kashmir issue: Hurriyat

19 March 2002
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Virtually rejecting Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee''s call to participate in the forthcoming assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, Hurriyat Conference on Tuesday said polls were no solution to the Kashmir problem. Read this story in...  Hindi''We want permanent settlement of the dispute and polls to the legislature is not an aim of our movement,'' Hurriyat Conference Chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said here.He was reacting to the statement made by Vajpayee in Rajya Sabha on Monday urging separatist organisations to join the election fray and that his government would ensure free and fair polls.''Elections will not produce a result in terms of resolution of the (Kashmir) dispute,'' Bhat said.He said the ''movement'' had been launched not to facilitate any political party from coming to power but for allowing Kashmiris to exercise their choice in regard to the state''s future dispensation.When asked whether the Hurriyat leadership would meet the Prime Minister in Kashmir, the Hurriyat Chairman said ''I don''t know''.Vajpayee, during his statement, had also said that he along with Home Minister L K Advani and Defence Minister George Fernandes would be visiting Kashmir soon.Bhat refused to answer any further queries regarding the fate of their parallel election commission. He neither confirmed or denied reports that such an exercise had run into ''rough weather''.


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