May 2006 News

A historic opportunity for separatists: Azad

8 May 2006
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: Describing the upcoming round-table conference on Kashmir a historic opportunity, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday expressed the hope that separatists would sink their differences and play their role in finding a solution to the Kashmir problem. Speaking on the occasion of opening of Government offices here for six months of summer, Mr. Azad said that the separatists should put aside differences and contribute in the resolution of the Kashmir issue. Referring to the recent meeting between the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, he said: 'The Hurriyat Conference has had two rounds of talks with the Prime Minister and both sides were satisfied after the latest dialogue. I hope that they (separatist) will take part in the next conference.' Mr Azad said his Government had completed all the preparations for the round-table to be held on May 25 in Srinagar. On a question about the much- publicised sex scandal allegedly involving politicians and top police officers, he sought an end to the ongoing public protests and asked the people to observe calm as the investigations had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. 'If someone has a complaint, he should directly come to me instead of exhibiting things through media', he said and added: 'It does not reflect us in good taste but has bad implications about maligning our daughters and sisters.' Apparently peeved over the media coverage of the public protests, he said the TV channels were running this story for 24 hours now. 'The case has been handed over to the CBI which is a premier agency of the country and it will take some time.' He also had a word of caution for activists of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM), though he did not name them. 'They have resorted to moral policing on a daily basis and they should not do it as it adversely reflects our society.' The DeM has been raiding the 'possible hide-outs of flesh trade' and also protesting on streets. On Monday, protests were held in many parts of the city as angry youth hurled stones at passing vehicles in Nowhatta, Rajouri, Kadal, Gojwara, Bohri Kadal and Saraf Kadal. Mr Azad said the Chief Secretary had spoken to the CBI Director and 'we are in no mood to spare anyone'.


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