April 2003 News

MJC stresses tripartite talks

19 April 2003
The Dawn
Our Staff Correspondent

MUZAFFARABAD: Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC), an alliance of Kashmiri Mujahideen groups, on Saturday gave a guarded welcome to Indian prime minister's offer for talks on Kashmir , but stressed that the dialogue should be 'meaningful and tripartite.' 'Though Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee's announcement for talks on Kashmir seems to be a welcoming move, it is essential that the talks turn out to be meaningful,' said MJC chairman Syed Salahuddin in a statement here. 'Meaningful talks could only be held when all the three parties, including the basic party, sat across the negotiating table,' he said, referring to India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris. Kashmir was neither a border or territorial dispute that India and Pakistan should sit together to resolve nor an internal matter that India and the Kashmiris should resolve through mutual parleys, he said. 'The state of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed and for the initiation of a dialogue, India should first recognize it as such and then all the three parties should sit together to find its solution in the light of the UN Security Council resolutions.' Mr Salahuddin regretted that on the one hand Indian PM was suggesting settlement of this issue through talks, while on the other New Delhi was reinforcing its troops in the region by 13 more battalions.


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