Differences Emerge As Hurriyat Rules Out Advani's 'decentralisation' Offer
24 October 2003
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Shortly after Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani's comments on Friday that the proposed talks with Hurriyat Conference could be on 'decentralisation' of power, the separatist amalgam said that it would not have parleys on issues like power and they should focus on resolving the vexed Kashmir issue. 'The Centre has expressed willingness to hold talks with Hurriyat. We make it clear that any dialogue process should be aimed at resolving the Kashmir issue,' former Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Umer Farooq said addressing a Friday congregation at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. He said that the Centre on Wednesday made an unconditional offer for talks. 'But now we hear that Advani wants to talk on decentralisation of power. It seems the government has not made up its mind. Let them decide whether they want to talk or not'. 'We will not talk for power or chief minister's chair or subsidy. Jammu and Kashmir is a half-a-century-old dispute which needs to be resolved according to the wishes and aspirations of its people.' Asserting that bilateral talks in the past have failed to yield any solution to Kashmir issue, he said that Hurriyat Conference believed that tripartite talks involving Pakistan only could lead to a resolution. Mirwaiz, however, said that the talks need not to be tripartite right away but could be held in phases with India talking to Hurriyat and Islamabad simultaneously.