The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hurriyat keeps Vohra hanging

Srinagar, April 22: Hours after the arrival of Central interlocutor N.N. Vohra here on a week-long visit to discuss the Kashmir issue with political parties, the separatist All-Parties Hurriyat Conference appears to have shut the door on him.

Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said: “Much bigger developments are shaping up across the subcontinent and the issues Vohra is required to take up pale into insignificance. His role concerns administrative and probably constitutional relations between the state and the Centre, which he will discuss with the pro-India political parties. This obviously does not figure in our agenda and he cannot, I am afraid, take up the political settlement of the dispute on Jammu and Kashmir as an interlocutor.”

However, Bhat refused to categorically say the Hurriyat would not be talking to Vohra, though what he said indicated the mindset of the conglomerate.

Vohra arrived on Monday afternoon on a week-long visit to the Valley to hold talks with the ruling People’s Democratic Party, the National Conference and the CPM. Immediately after his arrival here, the Central pointsman met the former RAW chief A.S. Daulat and other officials.

“Let him talk to them. We don’t object to his talking to anybody. Let him talk to anybody he chooses,” said Bhat.

Shabir Shah, the chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party, who met the earlier Central interlocutor K.C. Pant, has expressed his willingness to meet Vohra. Shah had held a series of parleys with Pant at the end of which he had expressed his “disillusionment with the talks”.

Pant had, however, failed to engage the Hurriyat in a dialogue as it had pressed for the inclusion of Pakistan in a tripartite dialogue.

Last year, the Hurriyat held discussions at the non-governmental level with Ram Jethmalani.

Vohra has said his “doors are fully open for talks with anyone who wants to see restoration of peace and normalcy in the state.”

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