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Home > News > PTI

Dixit slams Hurriyat's stand on talks

November 13, 2004 21:58 IST

National Security Adviser J N Dixit on Saturday slammed the Hurriyat Conference for insisting on talking toPakistan high commissioner in New Delhi and not to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

"Let Pakistan talk to their own Kashmiris and we will do the same. Why should we respond to Pakistan's insistence that talks should be held in their territory and at their insistence," he said in a hard-hitting interview to Tehelka weekly.

"The Pakistan high commissioner is a permanent host to them [Hurriyat Conference leaders]. He always has time for them. We can't have this high-horse spirit -- that you can speak to the high commissioner of Pakistan, but not to the home minister of India," he said.

Known for his candid speak, Dixit, a former high commissioner to Pakistan, said Umer Farooq, acting chairman of Hurriyat, had even met Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Amsterdam.

When asked why India was so scared of letting Hurriyat leaders travel to Pakistan, he said having a formal delegation visit Pakistan was Islamabad's tactic of having tripartite talks.

On why India was always "so hesitant" about the K-word and what in his view was a likely solution to the problem, Dixit said: "We have to first be responsive to what the Kashmiris want and have and also think of innovative ways of not letting talks break down."

The national security adviser said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is clear on two points -- that there could be no territorial delineation and that there could be no timeframe for such negotiations.

Dixit also made it clear that the Hurriyat Conference was not the only organisation that represented the Kashmiris. "I am talking about the [Kashmiri] Pandits and other mainstream political parties."

When reminded that the Hurriyat leaders were engaged in talks with the Centre during the National Democratic Alliance regime and occupied some political space in the Valley, he said Home Minister Shivraj Patil had invited them for talks soon after taking office.

Dixit described as a "trial balloon" Musharraf's recent proposal that India and Pakistan should identify some "regions" of Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control, demilitarise them and grant them the status of independent state or control them jointly or administer them as per a United Nations mandate.

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