Hurriyat puts conditions to take part in the third RTC | india | Hindustan Times
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Hurriyat puts conditions to take part in the third RTC

It says it may take part in talks if the four-point formula of Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, especially demilitarization, is included in the conference agenda.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2007 19:25 IST
Arun Joshi

In a major development in the Kashmir politics on Wednesday , All Parties Hurriyat Conference has declared that it might take part in the third Round Table Conference on Kashmir in New Delhi on April 24 if the four-point formula of Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, especially demilitarization, is included in the conference agenda.

APHC Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times over phone on Wednesday evening: " We can think of participating in the third Round Table Conference on Kashmir if the issue of demilitarization and other three points in the four-point formula of President Musharraf are deliberated upon."

Mirwaiz who addressed a public rally at Sumbal, (Sonawari), once regarded as a fortress of the counter insurgents in Kashmir, said that the " ideal situation would be to have a round table conference of the leaders of the two sides of Jammu and Kashmir. That would be better way of addressing the Kashmir issue in its entirety."

According to him, this time it is a practical proposition, as the leaders from across the LoC, like Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan, Barrister Sultan Mehmood and others, would be in Delhi around the same time when the RTC would be held. " They would be there, invite them and have discussions."

"But we have no problem in sitting alongside the mainstream parties at the RTC, if President Musharraf's formula forms part of the agenda. As of now that is not the case."

The Hurriyat Conference has been boycotting the RTCs in the past, saying that it could not sit with mainstream parties.

It is for the first time that the Hurriyat Conference has come out with a wish to participate with conditions.

President Musharraf's four point formula revolves around, " identification of Jammu and Kashmir as a geographical and political entity; demilitarization , self governance and open borders and joint control of the two parts of the State.

There are many cheer leaders for this proposition both in the mainstream and the separatist groups. National Conference, PDP, Democratic Freedom Party and moderate Hurriyat Conference are votaries of discussions and action on the formula, which President Musharraf first wrote in his book: " In the Line of Fire" last year, and later explained in detail to an Indian TV news channel early this year.

The government response to this condition was not immediately known.