APHC To Come Out With Its Own Road Map
29 November 2006
Srinagar: With the mainstream parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference having made public their respective roadmaps for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, the main separatist allaince, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, which had talked of various options earlier and then dithered in making them public, is holding an extra-ordinary meeting on Thursday to thrash out a final formula for the purpose. Hurriyat sources said a joint meeting of the members of the executive council and the general council of the APHC was to be held here on Thursday to streamline the future strategy of the conglomerate. The meeting, to be chaired by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who just returned from a Pugwash conference in Cairo, Egypt, will discuss the PDP's idea of self-rule and the National Conference demand for greater autonomy for resolving the Kashmir issue and come out with its own road map on the issue, these sources said. They said that besides formalizing its own roadmap, the separatist alliance will reiterate its demand for demilitarisation in Kashmir,release of all detainees and end to human rights violations for setting the stage for a purposeful dialogue. As of now the APHC leadership is neither in favour of the idea of self-rule of the pattern floated by the PDP or the slogan of greater autonomy raised by the National Conference. APHC had earlier floated the idea of a United States of Kashmir for which it had recieved the tacit backing of the Pakistani establishment. The conglomerate wanted to present the proposal to the Indian government after their high profile Pakistan trip but Congress government's cold shoulder to the moderate faction, despite initial euphoria generated by their meetings with the former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, poured cold water over their plans. As New Delhi refuses to grant APHC a special status by resuming the stalled talks and insists on joining them only in roundtable meets along with the rest of the mainstream political outfits of the state, the latter has decided to undertake yet another trip to Islamabad to work out a joint strategy with the Musharraf regime. The invitation to visit Pakistan was verbally conveyed to the Hurriyat leaders when they met Pakistan Foreign secretary in Delhi recently, a senior APHC leader said here today. Mr Riyaz Khan wanted the Hurriyat leaders to visit Islamabad so that various issues concerning Kashmir were discussed. Another senior Hurriyat leader said today 'there cannot be any escape from the talks, between India and Pakistan and with Kashmiri separatist leaders.' He said 'the only way to find a solution of the Kashmir issue was sustained and meaningful dialogue.' The APHC leaders told the Pakistan Foreign Secretary that they were keen to have another round of meeting with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before visiting Pakistan. The Hurriyat leaders have been sending feelers to the Govt of India but so far without eliciting any favourable response. By this they might have placed the ball in Delhi's court, but the GOI seems to be in no hurry as for it things are moving in its favour in Kashmir. The militant graph is down and Islamabad is under increased international pressure to reign in the pro-Kashmir militants.