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Home > News > PTI

Hurriyat cannot afford not to talk: Mufti

May 14, 2003 18:32 IST

Separatist groups, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, cannot afford to spurn the offer of talks with the Centre's interlocutor, N N Vohra, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said on Wednesday.

"After all he is the government's emissary. Wait and watch. They will come to the table," the Mufti said in New Delhi.

When reminded that the Hurriyat had already declined to meet Vohra, he said, "It is not correct. They have not yet availed of the opportunity to talk to the Centre's pointman. Maybe they are expecting a formal invitation."

The chief minister also said that the people should not expect results in the beginning itself. "After all some time needs to be given to the separatists as well. Everything will not happen in the first meeting."

Regarding terrorists, he said, "I say they have no cause to fight in Kashmir. Their declining of offer [of talks] has no relevance."

He said that in the event of talks between India and Pakistan, the terrorist groups would be left with no justification to carry on with their activities.

Asked about his policy of having a 'soft border' in the state, the Mufti said, "I have only repeated what the prime minister stated during his Lahore visit... checkpoints will be opened in Jammu and Uri.

"There is no harm in allowing the people of the two sides to meet. After all anyone willing to cross over to the other side will be doing so on valid travel documents."

He said this would also help the country in negating the propaganda that there is oppression in J&K. "Not to forget about some of the misguided elements in the state, who claim that the grass is greener on the other side. Their eyes will also open when they go to that part of the world."

More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis

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