August 2002 News

Amanullah ready for unconditional talks

10 August 2002
The Hindu

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front founder-chairman, Amanullah Khan, has expressed readiness for unconditional talks with the newly- constituted Kashmir Committee, headed by the former Law Minister, Ram Jethmalani. Mr. Khan told The Hindu today: ''I have hailed the formation of the Kashmir Committee headed by Mr. Jethmalani, whom I respect as a man of strong moral courage and capability. If invited, I will definitely have no hesitation in talking to the Committee if there are no pre-conditions. Nobody should impose conditions such as accepting Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India or about the Indian Constitution etc., to which I will never agree.'' Mr. Khan, who fears arrest if he enters India, said, ''The Indian Government has got international warrants of arrest issued against me by Interpol, which are still effective and under which I was arrested in Belgium on October 18, 1993, after the first session of the round table ''Conference on Kashmir'' convened by the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. George Fernandes and Farooq Abdullah also participated and signed the resolution passed by the conference condemning my arrest.'' ''As a consequence of the Interpol warrant, I remained behind bars in Belgium for over two months. I was released only after the Belgium court rejected the Indian Government''s demand for my extradition to India to face trial in murder charges, based on the confessional statement of a militant under detention in Jammu.'' According to Mr. Khan, there were only three alternatives that he risk travelling to India and face arrest or that the members of the Kashmir Committee come to Pakistan or that India withdraws the international warrants against him. Conveying his support to the Kashmir Committee, he said, ''For an equitable, practicable and permanent solution to the Kashmir issue, I will be happy to do the needful if asked.''.


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