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Lone blames Centre for foreign militants' influx

NEW DELHI, JULY 30. The senior Hurriyat leader, Mr. Abdul Gani Lone, today blamed the Centre for influx of foreign militants in Jammu and Kashmir. ``Had the Government of India offered negotiations in 1995-96, there would have been no question of foreign militants joining the Kashmiris in their freedom struggle in the State and thus making things complicated,'' Mr. Lone said here.

``Why did India leave its doors open for them?'' he asked.

But he claimed that the militancy was predominantly local as the number of foreign militants in the strife-torn State was less than one per cent of the total.

``The number of militants killed by the security forces every day in the State is an ample proof that the majority of the ultras belonged to the State,'' he added.

Mr. Lone alleged that the large-scale custodial killings, rape and molestation, destruction of properties were the driving force behind the Muslim youth across the world to join the militancy.

Denying any rift in the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Mr. Lone, who is also chairman of the People's Conference, said there was a difference of opinion within the conglomerate over the Pakistan High Commissioner's tea party.

``Some elements in the Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry were against inviting the APHC to the high tea, which resulted in the JKLF boycotting the reception,'' he said.

``There are no fundamental differences among the Hurriyat constituents. The JKLF differed on a particular issue and the matter has been resolved now,'' the Hurriyat leader said. The JKLF had accused the Hurriyat leaders of violating the APHC constitution by attending Mr. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi's tea party.

However, he said, the 23-party alliance was united on all issues. Commenting on the failure of the Agra summit, he urged both India and Pakistan to continue the dialogue process for resolution of the vexed 54-year-old Kashmir issue.

``Talk, talk and talk till the Kashmir dispute is resolved. There is no other alternative but negotiations through which the imbroglio can be resolved,'' Mr. Lone said.

Describing as baseless the allegations levelled by the Jammu and Kashmir Muttahida Mahaz (JKMM) that the Hurriyat leaders had embezelled crores of rupees donated by international agencies for militancy-affected people in the troubled State, Mr. Lone said the income and property of the amalgam leaders was open for scrutiny.

He alleged after the onset of militancy in the State, there had been a mushroom growth of two-member political parties more often than not propped by the Indian intelligence agencies.

``These so-called new political outfits are the handiwork of Indian intelligence agencies, which create and use them for their own purposes,'' Mr. Lone said.

``India had in past on several occasions tried to create dissension in the APHC but failed in its designs,'' he added.

``A powerful disinformation campaign was launched against me and my colleagues in the APHC in 1996 when I along with Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Moulvi Abbas Ansari were charged by the enforcement directorate with accumulating crores of rupees through hawala transactions. But nothing has been proved so far,'' the senior Hurriyat leader said.

- UNI

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