June 2002 News

Hurriyat objects to Mori poll verdict

3 June 2002
The Hindu

JAMMU: The All Party Hurriyat Conference chairman, Abdul Gani Bhat, today strongly objected to the Mori opinion poll, which came out with the conclusion that a majority of the Kashmiris wanted to remain with India. Prof. Bhat challenged the Centre to hold a plebiscite if it felt the verdict of the poll survey was true. Talking to reporters, he said no poll survey could decide the future of the State. ''The future of the State rests with the people of the State and no poll survey done by an organisation, no matter what its expertise is, can decide the future of the State. Only the people of the State have the right to decide its future.'' Taking strong objection to the methodology of the survey, Prof. Bhat said a poll, which had sought the views of 800 people, could not tell what the majority in the State wanted. Prof. Bhat said: ''The poll is all the more favourable for Indians. Let them hold a plebiscite and legitimise their control over Kashmir.'' Asked about the remarks of Lord Eveberry, chief of the London-based Kashmir Friends Society, that his opinion about Kashmir had changed after the poll, Prof. Bhat said, ''a person who changes opinion so quickly cannot be a friend of Kashmiris.'' ''Who is he? Our people have made supreme sacrifices for achieving the goal of freedom. We do not need anybody''s certificate.'' To write to India, Pak. PTI reports from Srinagar: Meanwhile, the Hurriyat has said it will write to the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, and other world leaders appealing for de- escalation of the tension along the Indo-Pak. border. ''We will not only write to Indian and Pakistani leaders but to all important leaders of international community and the U.N. Secretary-General to exercise their influence in avoiding a war between the two countries,'' Prof. Bhat told reporters at the amalgam headquarters in Srinagar, where they had assembled to pay homage to Abdul Gani Lone today.


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