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Why PM?s invite was rebuffed

The United Jehad Council ? the PoK-based conglomerate of militant outfits ? is reportedly behind the separatists' boycott of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Kashmir roundtable on February 25.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 02:21 IST

The United Jehad Council — the PoK-based conglomerate of militant outfits — is reportedly behind the separatists' boycott of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Kashmir roundtable on February 25.

According to officials monitoring developments following the conference call, the UJC is said to have called the roundtable a meaningless exercise and an attempt by India to "fool" world opinion on Kashmir. Within a day of the announcement, it reportedly told separatists who had been holding talks with the Centre or waiting for the same not to participate in the talks.

Political and official circles haven't missed the fact that the objection of the UJC — the unofficial mouthpiece of the ISI's extremist section — serves two purposes: to derail the Indian initiative and warn separatists against violating its edict. Pakistan wasn't too happy with the roundtable, for India had taken away the initiative from Islamabad.

At the roundtable, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's self-rule and de-militarisation proposals are expected to find an echo with the PDP extending full support to the suggestions. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday told party workers: "There is a need for a fresh look keeping in view people's aspirations and political realities."

Meanwhile, Hashim Qureshi — highjacker of the Ganga passenger plane in 1971 and head of the Democratic Liberation Party — has accepted the PM's invite.

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 02:21 IST