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Hurriyat calls for bandh on Wednesday

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
January 13, 2007 21:27 IST
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Opposing the ongoing trilateral parleys between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri separatist leaders, the hardliner All Parties Hurriyat Conference group chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Saturday called for a general strike next Wednesday.

"India is cleverly trying to continue the status-quo on Kashmir," Geelani told a media conference in Srinagar.

He also dismissed the moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference parleys with New Delhi and Islamabad, maintaining that "...such exercises were futile which had failed in the past and would in future too to produce a solution of the problem."

"By observing a strike on Wednesday, the people here will show their resentment against these talks which have so far failed to produce any result."

Geelani also criticised porous borders, self-governance and other formulas being put forth by the Pakistan President, General Parvez Musharraf, to meet India midway in resolving the Kashmir dispute.

"These proposals are no alternative to the right to self determination for which Kashmiris have made huge sacrifices," he said.

Lambasting the moderate APHC group, Geelani blamed its leaders for "creating confusion among the locals by saying that the talks would lead to an acceptable solution."

A delegation of the moderate APHC led by its president, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, left Srinagar today for winter capital Jammu to meet the representatives of the minority Pundit community ahead of their planned visit to Pakistan later in January.

The Mirwaiz group has already expressed its readiness to meet the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, if he choose to invite them before their departure for Islamabad.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar