|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Omar Abdullah keeping fingers, toes crossed
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 21, 2004 11:29 IST
National Conference president Omar Abdullah has expressed the hope that talks between the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand on January 22 are successful.
Abdullah told rediff.com that both sides would have to step back from their stated positions if progress has to be made.
"I think the solution lies on the lines of Indira Gandhi-Sheikh Abdullah accord. The government would have to give greater autonomy to the state. Hurriyat leaders who are looking for their survival would have to accept that. After the initial meeting with Advani Hurriyat would have to carry on the process of dialogue with N N Vohra, the government interlocutor," he said.
He maintained that American pressure had forced Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to give up his stand on some issues, including plebiscite.
"Vajpayeeji had a successful round of talks with the same Musharraf in Islamabad who was very aggressive at Agra few years ago. Clearly the American pressure is working behind the scenes. Pakistan has given up its demand for plebiscite because the conditions that exist today are not favourable for such an exercise. That is why Pakistan has stepped back on it," he added.
"Track II diplomacy between Hurriyat and the Government of India has been going on for sometime. Lot of ground work has been done to ensure the talks stay on the right course," he said.
A five-member delegation of Hurriyat comprising Moulvi Abbas Ansari, chairman, Abdul Gani Bhat, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Bilal Lone and Fazal Haq Qureshi would meet Advani tomorrow.
More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis