APHC announces team for talks with India
SRINAGAR: Kashmir’s main alliance named on Thursday a team for high-level talks with New Delhi and said it favours involvement of Kashmiris in future dialogue.
The team will be headed by Maulana Abbas Ansari, the head of the moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, former Hurriyat chief Abdul Gani Bhat told reporters here. Ansari this week received a formal invitation for talks on the future of Kashmir in New Delhi on January 22 with Indian Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani. Besides Bhat and Ansari, other members of the team are Hurriyat founder Umar Farooq, Bilal Lone, the son of assassinated moderate separatist Abdul Gani Lone, and Fazal Haque Qureshi.
Qureshi had facilitated talks between India and the members of the dominant rebel group Hizbul Mujahedin in July 2000 after Hizbul called for a unilateral ceasefire that was reciprocated by New Delhi.
However, the ceasefire was called off by Hizbul within a fortnight. Bhat, speaking at the end of a Hurriyat meeting at their Srinagar headquarters, said he was cautiously optimistic about the talks. —AFP