Maulana Ansari unfazed after suspension, wants PM in talks

Last Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 19:26

Srinagar: Unfazed by suspension from
Hurriyat, its former chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari on Thursday showed
no signs of regret over meeting Centre`s interlocutors saying
he was ready to interact with the panel again but demanded
that Prime Minister be part of the talks on Kashmir issue.
Ansari, whose Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen was suspended from
moderate Hurriyat Conference for meeting Centre`s
interlocutors yesterday, said, "My doors are open for anyone
but I make it clear that dialogue on Kashmir issue has to be
with Prime Minister of India and not with any employee of the
government."

He was asked whether he was willing to meet the
interlocutors led by Dilip Padgaonkar again.

Ansari said, "I told them (interlocutors) that the
invitation should be addressed to the Hurriyat Conference and
not me.

"The interlocutors assured me that they will make all
efforts to ensure that I get an invitation from the Prime
Minister," he said.

Ansari said only talks between separatists and the
Centre would not yield any results as enganging Pakistan was
imperative for finding a lasting solution, which can be
acceptable to all the stake holders.

"Earlier also, Hurriyat Conference held talks with
India as well as Pakistan. All the parties have to be on board
for a permanent solution," he said.

Ansari said only a meaningful dialogue can resolve
Kashmir issue. "We have seen so many wars but the issue has
not been resolved," he said.

On the Hurriyat decision to suspend his party from the
amalgam, Ansari said it has given him freedom to do things his
way.
"Till now, we were following the rules of Hurriyat.
Now, I am free to convey my views to the people," he said.

The former chairman of the amalgam said his party has
been working for resolution of Kashmir issue since 1960 and he
has worked with many leaders, who espoused this cause.

"I worked with (National Conference founder) Shiekh
Muhammad Abdullah when he was part of the Plebiscite Front.
After he parted ways with the Front, I also chose my own path.
I have worked with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and his father also,"
he said.

Earlier, Ansari issued a statement in which he denied
the claim of the interlocutors that the meeting with him was
fixed by "mutual friends".

"There was no prior programme fixed for the meeting.
The three interlocutors dropped at my residence unexpectedly,"
he said.

He said his party stands by the decision of the
amalgam not to engage with the interlocutors.

"I made it clear to the interlocutors that the
constituent groups of Hurriyat have decided collectively not
to meet you. Since you have come to my house, I cannot close
my doors on you," Ansari said.
He said he also told interlocutors in unambiguous
terms that there was no role for them as the Hurriyat had
already held talks with the Prime Minister of the country.

"I told them that we were not afraid of engaging in
dialogue process but we have already held talks with India at
the Prime Minister`s level. We maintain that there is no role
for interlocutors. The Kashmir issue can be resolved by talks
between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri people," he said.

Ansari`s Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen was suspended from the
membership of the Hurriyat Conference after he met the team of
interlocutors yesterday.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 19:26

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