Opposition should be taken on board: Mirwaiz
23 January 2007
Islamabad: The government should take the opposition into confidence on initiatives it has taken regarding the Kashmir issue, according to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Talking to journalists outside the opposition leader’s chamber here on Tuesday, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chief said the aim of his delegation’s visit to Islamabad was to meet ruling party members as well as opposition leaders and to brief them on the “ground realities” in occupied Kashmir. It was the responsibility of the government to take the Pakistani opposition leaders on board in search for a solution to the Kashmir question, he said. He advised the politicians to stop politicising the issue as was being done by the Indian leaders. The APHC team comprising Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Bilal Lone and Prof Ghani Bhatt held separate meetings with the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Maulana Fazlur Rahman; leader of the opposition in the Senate, Mian Raza Rabbani; a PPP team led by Raja Zafarul Haq; and an MQM delegation headed by Dr Farooq Sattar. Talking to Kashmiri leaders, Maulana Fazlur Raman welcomed their visit to Pakistan and termed their differences with Sayed Ali Gilani as an internal affair. He supported any solution to Kashmir in which apart from India and Pakistan, aspirations of Kashmiri people were given preference. The PPP leaders Raza Rabbani, Sherry Rahman and Envar Baig said proposals floated by President Musharraf on Kashmir issue do not enjoy the support of masses as the Parliament was not taken into confidence. They were of the opinion that a lasting solution to the issue was only possible if the whole nation backed it. The PML (N) leaders including Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, MNA Khwaja Asif and Sayed Zafar Ali Shah informed the Kashmiri delegation of their belief in finding a settlement wherein masses were involved in the dialogue process. They eulogized the supreme sacrifices which people of occupied Kashmir have rendered for their independence and has kept the issue alive. They assured full support of the PML(N) in raising voice for the cause of Kashmir.