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Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat ready to talk to Kashmir special representative

Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat. File   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Senior separatist leader Abdul Gani Bhat has expressed his willingness to engage Government of India special representative Dineshwar Sharma in a dialogue. However, the Hurriyat leader described it as “individual opinion.”

In an interview to a local daily in Srinagar, the former All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman said, “The doors of my office are open to everyone. If people come to me for talks, I will talk and make my point — that without involving Pakistan no breakthrough on Kashmir is possible.”

To a question on appointment of Mr. Sharma as interlocutor, Mr. Bhat, who heads the Muslim Conference and is associated with Mirwaz Umar Farooq’s Hurriyat, said, “If he [Mr. Sharma] chooses to meet me, it will be nice. I will welcome him at my office. He will be received well. I will meet and talk and put across the facts about the Kashmir issue. Unless talks happen, no positive results are expected.”

He said there was need to “contribute towards an environment for sanity.” “You may not be able to achieve a breakthrough but the matter of fact is that talks have to happen and you have to talk sense,” said Mr. Bhat.

Mr. Bhat’s stand is contrary to the position taken by the Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Hurriyat factions headed by the Mirwaiz, Syed Ali Geelani and JKLF chief Yasin Malik.

So far, the separatists said Mr. Sharma’s appointment is “a time buying tactic and a futile exercise.”

A second-rung moderate Hurriyat leader described Mr. Bhat’s remarks as “individual opinion and not a party stand.”

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2020 12:17:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hurriyat-leader-abdul-gani-bhat-ready-to-talk-to-kashmir-special-representative/article21250616.ece

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