Srinagar: After months of efforts to break
the ice with separatists, Centre`s interlocutors on Kashmir on Wednesday met former Hurriyat chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari, a
move which irked the moderate faction which suspended him from
"This morning we met Ansari at his residence to discuss
ways and means to carry forward the dialogue process that
would lead to a peaceful settlement in Jammu and Kashmir,"
chief of the three-member interlocutors` team Dileep
Padgaonkar told reporters here.
He said the discussion, lasting a little over an hour,
was conducted in a cordial and constructive spirit.
"Maulana Ansari informed us that he favoured talks with
the government to arrive at such a settlement. The dialogue
had to be held at an appropriate level with representatives of
separatist groups and in the presence of the interlocutors
appointed by the Centre," Padgaonkar said.
However, within minutes after the news came out about
the meeting, Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq
announced suspension of its constituent Itehad-ul-Muslimeen
"We have suspended IuM for violating the Hurriyat
decision on meeting the interlocutors appointed by Government
of India," Mirwaiz told PTI.
Briefing about their meeting with Ansari, Padgaonkar
said Ansari emphasized that perceptible changes on the ground
was required to inculcate a spirit of trust in the people of
"Towards this end, he urged that the talks with the
government should initially focus on the four point agenda of
the moderate Hurriyat. The talks would cover the steps already
taken by the government in this regard and the further steps
that required to be taken to create a conducive atmosphere for
subsequent discussions," he added.
The IuM is among the founder constituents of Hurriyat
conference and one of the seven parties which have
representatives in the highest decision making body, the
The Mirwaiz said the suspension will remain in force
till the next meeting of the executive body of the amalgam
which is likely to take place sometime next week.
"Although IuM is represented by Ansari`s son, Maulana
Masroor Abbas Ansari, in the Hurriyat meetings, the party is a
member of the amalgam and should have abided by the Hurriyat
decision," he said.