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New Hurriyat chief sings a conciliatory tune
July 12, 2003 17:15 IST
Maulvi Mohammad Abbas Ansari, the new All Party Hurriyat Conference chairman, on Saturday described the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan as a 'humanitarian problem' saying guns cannot solve it.
"Kashmir issue is not a border dispute between India and Pakistan, but a humanitarian problem. It cannot be solved through gun, but by negotiations. Kashmiris being the principal party to the dispute should be included in any talks aimed at resolving the issue," the 65-year-old Ansari said.
"However, we were not insisting for inclusion at the outset of the dialogue process, but we have to be included at a later stage," he said.
Terming the resumption of bus service between India and Pakistan as 'travel of friendship', Ansari said, "We know the pain of separation as families are divided across the Line of Control. We are not allowed to meet each other to share joy and sorrow of our loved ones."
The new Hurriyat chairman was quick enough to downplay any differences within the amalgam. "There is no controversy. People's Conference did not participate in the assembly polls and the Jamaat leader, who did, had been expelled from the party."