June 2004 News

Hurriyat Attacks Top EU Envoy

20 June 2004
The Asian Age

Srinagar: Rival factions of the Hurriyat Conference on Sunday reacted angrily to the statement of European Union ambassador to India Francisco da Gamara Gomes that EU treats Jammu and Kashmir as any other part of India. 'Had it (J&K) been the integral part of India, then why should New Delhi hold talks with Pakistan... I am unable to understand what prompted EU to claim that Kashmir is a part of India,' chairman of the Hurriyat Conference Moulvi Mohammed Abbas Ansari said. Mr Gomes' statement will have no bearing on the 'disputed' nature of Kashmir issue, he said. Mr Ansari, who held two rounds of talks with the Centre, said his faction was holding dialogue because they consider Kashmir as a dispute and want its solution through peaceful means. 'We have been saying it earlier and we reiterate it today that talks with the Centre has been initiated because we consider Kashmir as a dispute. This needs resolution through negotiations and that is what we are trying to do,' Ansari said. He said whatever EU says is not the fact. Mr Gomes told media persons after the first day of India-EU roundtable on June 18 that Kashmir is a part of India like any other part. A spokesman of the breakaway Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani termed Mr Gomes' remarks as ridiculous but said it would have no bearing on the 'disputed nature' of Kashmir issue.


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