February 2006 News

Game For Pak Roundtable

26 February 2006
The Hindustan Times

Jammu: The Kashmiri separatists who for one reason or the other stayed away from the PM's roundtable on Saturday are now packing their bags for a similar conference on Kashmir in Islamabad next month. Leaders of the Hurriyat Conference's moderate faction, J&K Liberation Front, Peoples Conference and J&K Democratic Freedom Party among others have all agreed to take part in the three-day conference in Islamabad, starting from March 9. The conference is organized by Pugwash, an international organisation that postponed the original schedule of February to enable the participants to meet Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. The original schedule was clashing with Musharraf 's foreign visits, sources said. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, APHC chairman, sees no contradiction in this. 'First of all, let me make it clear that the conference in Pakistan is not organized by the Pakistan government. It is a nongovernmental effort. The two things - the Delhi roundtable and Pugwash conference - should not be clubbed together.' 'Our decision to stay away from the PM's conference was because we took great risk to enter into dialogue with the PM in September last year but no change came about on the ground, as promised. Nor was there continuation of dialogue at the speed that was expected,' the Mirwaiz said. 'We have met the PM and there is nothing extraordinary if we meet President Musharraf, though nothing is planned as yet,' he added. Apart from the separatists, some mainstream leaders will also attend the conference.


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