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Patil to brief PM on Kashmir visit
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | November 09, 2004 16:10 IST
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who returned from a three-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, will give his assessment of the ground situation in the state to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the latter returns from The Hague.
Meanwhile, leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference have taken objection to Patil's statement circulated to the media during his visit, accusing the APHC leaders of buckling under pressure from Pakistan.
"We are not under pressure to hold talks from either the government of Pakistan or the government of India. We want the talks to be resumed at a level. In the Vajpayee government we were talking to Advani, who was also the deputy prime minister of India," Moulavi Abbas Ansari, former chairman of the APHC told rediff.com on phone from his residence in Srinagar.
He welcomed Patil's statement that if Hurriyat leaders want to visit Pakistan then the government of India could facilitate their travel. "It looks fine if we go by the statement. But to travel to Pakistan we must have travel documents. We have applied for passports and let the government of India show some sincerity by issuing us passports," Ansari said.
The Hurriyat top brass will be meeting in Srinagar in the next couple of days to consider Patil's proposal and to decide whether or not to meet for talks before Dr Singh's visit to Kashmir on November 17 and 18.
"Two of our leaders, Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone, are in Delhi. Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the chairman, and myself, too, would have been in Delhi. But because of the holy month of Ramzan we are forced to stay back in the Valley. Let us see what decision is taken at the executive meeting of the APHC later this week," he said.
Asked if the talks would start afresh if the Hurriyat decided to meet Patil, Ansari said the details of the two rounds of meeting with Advani would be available to the home minister. "In our third meeting we were to talk of the substantive issues. We would begin from there," he said.
More reports from Delhi
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