Hurriyat Represents Popular Will: Advani
27 March 2004
The Times of India
New Delhi: The decision of the Hurriyat to persist with the talks is a significant breakthrough for the Centre considering that till early this month the Hurriyat, citing rights abuses, had threatened to pull out. Advani reciprocated the compliment by stapling the 'popular representative' tag on the Hurriyat leaders whom he had not long ago referred to as 'not the only representativs of Kashmiris.' The deputy prime ministesr also placed on record his appreciation for the Hurriyat representatives - chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Bilal Lone and Bhat - for turning up for Saturday's round despite pressure from certain quarters. The positive vibes were underscored also when the Hurriyat representatives complimented Advani for taking time off his Yatra schedule to host them and confirmed that, the talks were held in a 'free and frank manner'. Also present in the meeting were home secretary Anil Baijal, director IB, K P Singh, N N Vohra among others.