Kashmir alliance ready for talks

The main separatist alliance in Indian-administered Kashmir has said it was ready for talks with New Delhi about the disputed state’s future.

    The area has been hit by separatist insurgency since 1989

    "We will talk about the resolution of Kashmir if we get the invitation," Kashmir's main Muslim cleric and leading separatist Umar Farooq told thousands of worshippers on Friday at the main mosque in the summer capital Srinagar.


    "We will present the point of view of Kashmiris," he said.


    Road map


    The main separatist alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), has already drafted a "road map" on Kashmir, the group's former chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said.


    "The APHC has prepared a road map. It is durable and acceptable," Bhat said.


    "The APHC will be presenting it before the world and before India and Pakistan," he said.


    "The APHC has prepared a road map. It is durable and acceptable"

    Abdul Gani Bhat,
    former chairman, APHC

    India in an about-turn in October said Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani would talk with the Hurriyat, which represents around two dozen parties opposed to Indian rule.


    Advani said the discussions would take place after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends next week and after elections for five Indian state assemblies are completed on 1 December.


    The Indian newspaper Hindustan Times reported on Friday that the Indian government had quietly told Farooq, Bhat and the Hurriyat's current chairman Molvi Abbas Ansari that it was ready for "unconditional talks".


    Kashmir has been wracked since 1989 by an Islamic separatist insurgency that has left tens of thousands dead.



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