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August 1, 2000
Hizbul nominee approached by officials
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Prominent Kashmiri separatist leader and People's Political Front chairman Fazal Haq Qureshi Tuesday night confirmed that senior officials of the Union home ministry contacted him, following his nomination by the Hizbul Mujahideen as an intermediary for dialogue.
''Yes, I was contacted by some officials, who told me that they were coming to meet me in Srinagar on Wednesday,'' Qureshi told this correspondent.
He said, ''I told the officials that since I had not yet got a brief from the Hizbul, I could not discuss anything with them. I hope to receive details from the organisation soon.''
He said that he was contacted by Hizbul leaders late in the afternoon. He said that they promised to send details of what to discuss with the officials. ''I cannot talk or force anything. I am just an intermediary,'' he said.
He said, ''Basically, my first job is to work out modalities of the cease-fire between the Hizbul and the security forces.''
He said, ''The Hizbul will appoint some commanders and I will then request the government to send an expert to work out the modalities.''
On Monday, the Hizbul had nominated Qureshi as an intermediary and asked the Government of India to start parleys through him.
Qureshi was the first Kashmiri separatist leader to welcome the cease-fire.
However, the outfit said that the supreme commander of the organisation, Syed Salah-Ud-Din, will be the ultimate authority to take a decision, in consultation with the Hizbul leadership, regarding the talks.
Qureshi earlier had said that it was his desire to see the Kashmir issue resolved once and for all.
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