SRINAGAR, Aug 5 (2000): Secrecy surrounded talks on Saturday between Indian officials and a frontline Kashmiri separatist group following a truce aimed at paving the way for peace.
The Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted unnamed sources as saying the talks between Indian officials and Hizbul Mujahideen had been pushed back two days to Monday. The report could not be confirmed and neither side would comment on the negotiations.
Fazal-Haq Qureshi, who has been acting as emissary between the sides, said earlier a meeting was set for Saturday. A first round of negotiations took place this week.
“They will be working out modalities of the ceasefire,” the People’s Political Front party (PPF) chief told Reuters.
Speaking in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, he said his role had now ended. “My job was only to bring them to the table.”
Qureshi was quoted by Star News television as saying Hizbul could consider extending its August 8 deadline for India to agree to unconditional tripartite talks involving Pakistan as well, failing which the ceasefire would end.
India responded positively to the ceasefire offer from the pro-Pakistan Hizbul, but remains wary of arch-foe Pakistan, which it accuses of orchestrating a string of guerrilla groups waging a 10-year-old Moslem separatist rebellion.
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