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Hurriyat ready to drop plebiscite demand

January 24, 2004 21:09 IST

All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari said the conglomerate is willing to set aside its demand for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.

Ansari made these remarks on Aaj Tak on Sunday, according to a release by the TV network.

Ansari said the Hurriyat was moving away from its earlier stand to facilitate peace talks. Sounding a conciliatory note, he said the Hurriyat is in favour of sitting together with all the concerned parties and working out a solution that is acceptable to all.

Regarding the Hurriyat's desire to travel to Pakistan, Ansari said he wishes to travel to that country on an Indian passport. Noting he was denied a passport when he wanted to go on Haj, Ansari said he now wants to show the Pakistan government that he has been given a passport by the Indian government to travel to Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Ansari claimed that the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections in 2002 were not fair and held only to "get rid" of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

He said if fair polls were held, even a candidate nominated by him could defeat Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.

The Hurriyat had boycotted the assembly elections.

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