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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Geelani sees only diplomatic role of Taliban for K-issue

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 30, 2013
First Published: 18:48 IST(30/10/2013) | Last Updated: 18:51 IST(30/10/2013)

Guarded in his wording, hardline Tehreek-I-Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has politely asked the Taliban to keep away from any military adventurism in Kashmir after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan next year.

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"It is enough for us to expect them to support us diplomatically in the future. I cannot comment over the issue, I can only say that the Taliban should stabilise their own land,"Geelani said, while responding to a pointed question on Taliban collaborating with indigenous militant outfits after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In an interview to the local news agency, Kashmir News Service (KNS), 83-year-old separatist put to rest any separatist move to invite Taliban militarily into the armed conflict here.

Geelani, who was released from 236-day restrictions around his Srinagar residence on Tuesday, said, "Kashmir would need diplomatic support of a Taliban-led Afghanistan government in the future."

"The Taliban should support at the international level and raise their concerns for Kashmir after they become successful in forming government in Afghanistan,"he added.

Geelani's statement assumes significance in the backdrop of growing fears here that Pakistan might direct war-hardened fighters from Afghanistan into Kashmir.

This year, Kashmir suddenly saw some section trying to support the Taliban militias into the Valley; at least through graffiti and pro-Taliban slogans like "welcome Taliban"painted on main streets at several locations in the city.

The Eid congregation at Srinagar's historic mosque Jamia Masjid on October 16 also witnessed boys holding posters of slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Several pro-Taliban placards were also flashed by some masked youth outside the mosque.


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