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Yasin Malik denies meeting PM

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
February 03, 2006 01:08 IST
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Denying that he had met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik on Thursday said he had two chance meetings with Dr Singh but those happened when the Congress party was in the opposition.

"I have not met Dr Singh since he became prime minister," the pro-Independence JKLF chairman told the media at his uptown Maisuma residence on Thursday evening.

The comment comes after a statement by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during his annual press occasion in New Delhi where he said that he met Kashmiri separatist leaders Sajjad Gani Lone and Yasin Malik.

"I, however, met him once in 2001 at a luncheon meeting at the house of columnist Prem Shankar Jha and later in 2003 at the residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi who was then the Leader of the Opposition," Malik said.

"I stressed the necessity to involve the militant leadership in any dialogue process aimed to resolve the Kashmir dispute in line with the aspirations of the people."

The JKLF chief also denied having received any invitation for a meeting with the central leadership so far. "Once such an invitation is received, the JKLF executive council would meet and discuss the modalities," he added.


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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar