September 2005 News

Hurriyat doves wait for change

18 September 2005
The Indian Express
Muzaffar Raina

Srinagar: Two weeks after talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the initial euphoria in the camp of Hurriyat doves appears to be giving way to disappointment. Senior leaders in the camp say the process has fallen midway, as there has been no positive change on the ground. While Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is touring the US, some of his teammates who held talks with the PM say they are unhappy with the progress after the talks. Former Hurriyat chairman Abbas Ansari said he had been optimistic before meeting the PM. ‘‘But after the talks, nothing has changed on the ground,’’ Ansari told The Indian Express. He said the Hurriyat was expecting concrete results. ‘‘We want people to heave a sigh of relief but that’s not happening,’’ he said. Bilal Gani Lone, another Hurriyat leader who participated in the talks, echoed a similar view. ‘‘The process is not moving at the right pace,’’ he said. Lone was for continuation of the talks process but regretted that the ground situation in the state was the same as before. ‘‘Human rights violation continues despite the PM’s assurance,’’ he said, adding, ‘‘The common man has got no respite.’’ He clarified that the primary issue with the Hurriyat is the resolution of the Kashmir issue and not human rights. ‘‘But for any headway in resolving the issue, it is important that rights violations are curbed,’’ he said. Senior Hurriyat leader Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, on the other hand, said the Centre has been ‘‘flexible’’ this time.


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