May 2006 News

APHC Says It Has A 'definite Roadmap'

8 May 2006
The News International

New Delhi: Billing its talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Kashmir issue as a 'new beginning', the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has said it has a definite roadmap for solving the problem, and the Centre must give priority to dialogue with it.APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told BBC Hindi service: 'For the first time in 57 years, leaders of Kashmiri people are being heard now. Earlier our voice was not being listened to at all. 'We have discussed demilitarisation and self-governance with the prime minister. The Hurriyat has a definite roadmap for Kashmir, which it is going to present to both the governments of India and Pakistan. We feel that a solution to this decades-old problem can only be found through talks, there is no other way to move forward.' 'The Indian government should move away from its position of status quo on Kashmir. The need of the hour is that governments of both India and Pakistan should adopt a soft approach towards Kashmir. Even those who have picked up guns should be involved in talks,' the Mirwaiz said. He said: 'There are two dimensions to the Kashmir problem. First is the internal one, which is between Delhi and Held Srinagar. In this, both the Central government and Hurriyat Conference have formed committees to look into various aspects of the whole Kashmir issue and what proposals could be put forward from both the sides.' Referring to Hurriyat's possible participation in the forthcoming roundtable on Kashmir being convened by Singh later this month, the Mirwaiz said: 'We have not taken any decision so far on the matter. We would decide only after the conference agenda is made known to us.'

 

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