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Hurriyat leaders to meet PM on Jan 17

The Hurriyat delegation will leave for Pakistan after meeting Manmohan, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 12:55 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi

Ahead of their Pakistan visit, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leadership is meeting with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on January 17, to exchange views on the current Kashmir situation.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times that he had heard about the meeting on January 17. "But, we are waiting for a formal communication."

The Hurriyat delegation will leave for Pakistan after meeting Prime Minister, as the things stand today.

He said that he expected the meeting with Manmohan Singh to be fruitful in the light of the changed environment between India and Pakistan.

The reference was to the friendly noises emerging out of Delhi and Islamabad, and particularly the statement of Prime Minister that he wants a peace and harmony of the kind, which would enable him to have breakfast in Amritsar and lunch in Lahore- two Punjabi cities, one in India, and the other in Pakistan.

The timing of the meeting, ahead of Hurriyat Conference’s visit to Pakistan, is also crucial.

The Hurriyat Conference will get the chance to hear latest from Prime Minister. Moreover, by that time the visit of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would have concluded, and there would be many things clearer than those are today.

“Those would be interesting times to meet Prime Minister,” Mirwaiz said.

The Hurriyat Conference’s upcoming meeting would be the third between the two sides since September 5, 2005, and the second was on May 3, 2006.

The separatistconglomerate had first starteddialogue with theCentre, when NDA was ruling,on January 22, 2004 and the second round with the then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani was held on March 18, 2004.

Much has changed since then, Mirwaiz said. Many new proposals have come and old time tensions have been replaced with a desire to improve ties between India and Pakistan, but the “kind of change that should have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir has not taken place. We do hope that this time, it would be fast forward movement this time.”

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First Published: Jan 10, 2007 12:34 IST