J&K talks: PDP, BSP take opposite stand

Tribune News Service

Jammu, May 2

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, former Union Home Minister, and the BSP led by Sheikh Abdul Rehman, have adopted a contradictory stance regarding the need of the APHC to participate in the proposed talks.

The vice-president of the PDP, Mr Muzaffar Hussain Beg, told newsmen here today that the Kashmir issue would defy a solution unless the APHC leaders were prompted and encouraged to participate in the talks. He said that involvement of Pakistan in the parleys was essential because Islamabad was party to the dispute.

Mr Beg made it clear that under the Tashkent and Shimla agreements, it was mandatory for India to hold talks with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. Talks in the absence of the APHC and Pakistan would prove a meaningless exercise. He, therefore, suggested to the government to allow the APHC team to visit Pakistan.

Contrary to this, the BSP president, Sheikh Abdul Rehman, said that since the APHC was not a representative of the people of the state, its leaders' involvement in the proposed parleys was not necessary. He said the APHC had no following and support in Jammu and Ladakh regions'.

He questioned Shabir Ahmed Shah's claim of representing the interests of various segments of the people in the state. "Who is Shabir Shah?" he asked, adding that the government should open talks with mainstream political leaders who were the genuine representatives of the people of the state.

Mr Beg also accused the National Conference ruling party of having institutionalised corruption in the state. He said "Corruption has touched new heights under Dr Farooq Abdullah's regime."

Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 4, 2001
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