The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hurriyat faces a challenger

Jammu, Nov. 20: A parallel umbrella of 20 organisations, including militant groups, has sprung up against the Hurriyat Conference, claiming to be the real representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The new combine has been named the Jammu and Kashmir Shujat (brave people) Alliance. The group’s coordinator Nisar Ali Sabazwar said it had been formed to counter the Hurriyat and in response to chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s offer to hold unconditional talks with militants.

“Since we are mujahideen who took up arms and got killed for the cause of Kashmir, we alone are the real representatives with whom the government should hold a dialogue for resolution of Kashmir issue,” he said. Sabazwar was accompanied by several people, two of who were introduced as the district commanders of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Hizb-ul Mujahideen.

Sabazwar said the members of the group have given up arms only to see how the state government reacts. He said the alliance favoured autonomy for the state. The coordinator added that the alliance also agreed with the common minimum programme of the coalition government.

The demands of the new alliance include jobs for youths and militants who want to join the mainstream, compensation to bereaved families of militants and curbs on human rights violations by security forces.

Malik leaves Hurriyat meet in a huff

Yasin Malik today stood isolated as the 23-party Hurriyat decided to continue talks with the Kashmir Committee headed by former union law minister Ram Jethmalani, adds PTI. Malik, a member of the Hurriyat executive body, walked out of a meeting in a huff after other members ignored his opposition to the talks.

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