Tuesday, Aug 05, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Following a meeting with the Kashmir Committee in the capital today the former Hurriyat chairman, Abdul Ghani Bhat, told presspersons that the organisation was examining ideas which would lead to a concrete solution of the Kashmir issue, which would be "durable, honourable and acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir.''
Mr.Bhat said that it would communicate its thinking on these matters at a formal meeting with the Kashmir Committee after three of its members chairman Ram Jethmalani, M. J. Akbar and Dileep Padgaonkar returned from a visit to Pakistan scheduled for August 9.
Mr.Bhat was asked if, when speaking of the need to "rise above traditional positions'', he was suggesting that Hurriyat's members might be willing to abandon their demand for independence, he said, "We want a process to start with accommodation and imagination. We do not want to talk about the form that the future solution will take.''
A spokesperson for the Kashmir Committee said the Hurriyat had once again affirmed its rejection of violence as a means to achieving political ends. Mr. Bhat added, "at any level''.
Apart from Mr. Bhat, the other Hurriyat members at today's meeting were its new chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
The Hurriyat team, which has been in the capital since Saturday, has had a meeting with officials from the British embassy and will meet U.S. diplomats tomorrow.
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