Mirwaiz Dismisses Religious Solution Of Kashmir
21 May 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A day after Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf said that a religious solution of Kashmir issue was not possible, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, head of a faction of Hurriyat Conference and Awami Action Committee (AAC) chief, today advocated an intra-Kashmir dialogue to hammer out a mutual acceptable solution of the Kashmir issue. Unambiguously terming the Pakistan's approach on Kashmir as 'realistic', he castigated New Delhi for continuing its 'stubborn' attitude on Kashmir and counselled it to adopt a 'just and realistic' way to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio. Meanwhile, Srinagar city observed a partial strike while other parts of Kashmir valley witnessed 'business as usual' today. Amid tight and elaborate security arrangements and deployment of modern gadgets to detect arms and explosives, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq reached 'Martyr's graveyard' in Eidgah area this afternoon. Addressing a moderately attended gathering to commemorate death anniversaries of Moulvi Mohammed Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone, Mirwaiz emphasised that a comprehensive dialogue within entire Jammu and Kashmir was needed to help resolve the Kashmir dispute. 'Kashmiri leadership, be it political or guerilla, should be allowed to meet and discuss so that a mechanism for broad based trilateral engagement of India, Pakistan and Kashmiris evolves for the resolution of the Kashmir issue,' Mirwaiz told the gathering. Without naming it as 'intra-Kashmir dialogue', Mirwaiz pointed out that people living in various regions of Jammu and Kashmir had different point of views in regard to the final settlement of the Kashmir dispute. 'There is one point of view in Ladakh. Similarly Jammu has its own point of view. So a comprehensive dialogue is needed within (the State),' he elaborated. In the same breath, he sought to clarify that despite different point of views, people were unanimous about the resolution of the Kashmir issue and asserted that India and Pakistan should accept centrality of the people of Kashmir. Commenting on the Pakistan president Gen Pervez Musharraf's proposal, Mirwaiz said that let India and Pakistan come out with their roadmaps on Kashmir. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Friday had suggested identification of areas within the State, demilitarisation, maximum self-governance, and a time frame for solution. He had also pointed out that religious solution of this was not possible. 'New proposals for the resolution of Kashmir dispute are being discussed. President Musharraf has put forth a proposal. Let India also come out with a roadmap. However, I must tell you, Hurriyat reiterates that Kashmiris have to be taken into confidence,' he said with people chanting slogans jis Kashmir ko khun sey seencha who Kashmir hamara ha (Kashmir belongs to us for which we have given our blood), awaz dou hum ek hai (We're united). He warned India as well as Pakistan that no solution could be thrust upon the people of Kashmir. 'Bilateralism has failed in the past. So will happen to it in future. We, at this Martyr's graveyard appeal to both India and Pakistan to include the people of Kashmir in the dialogue process,' he said. Mirwaiz asserted that Pakistan had adopted a 'realistic' approach on Kashmir while blaming India for continuing with its 'stubborn' attitude. 'Pakistan has adopted a realistic approach on Kashmir. On my meeting with Gen Musharraf in Amsterdam, I could myself feel realisation among Pakistani leadership that there has to be an end to Kashmir's agonies. He (Gen Musharraf) told me that Kashmiris should get something whether Pakistan gets or not,' he narrated. Added he: 'Let India shun its stubbornness. Accept ground realities. On one side, India talks about dialogue. Dialogue with Hurriyat and others. But on the other side, peoples are killed unabated. Asserting that the unification moves between the two Hurriyat factions had yielded no result, Mirwaiz, however, cautioned that aspiration for unification should not be misconstrued as their weakness. 'Nobody has tried harder than me to unite the two groups of the Hurriyat. So far we have met with no success but this does not mean that the Hurriyat would sit as a mute spectator to the unfolding political scenario. The Hurriyat chairman reiterated his demand that they should be allowed to visit Pakistan and meet Kashmiri and Pakistani leadership there. 'We want to go to Pakistan. We want to meet Pakistani leadership,' he said and added that Hurriyat would soon come out with a 'comprehensive' programme about how to proceed regarding dialogue with India and Pakistan. Former chairman of the undivided Hurriyat Prof A G Bhat, senior separatist leader Moulana Abbas Ansari and others were present on the occasion. While as Prof Bhat did not speak, Ansari delivered a short speech for few minutes only. The other prominent leader, Bilal Gani Lone was not present on the occasion. Meanwhile, Srinagar city observed a partial strike on the occasion with reports that there was no impact of the strike elsewhere in Kashmir valley. There were also reports that a over a dozen motorbike borne youth in interior Srinagar forcibly made shopkeepers to close their shops.