February 2007 News

Talks with India, Pak must for Kashmir solution: Mirwaiz

2 February 2007
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: Launching an attack against those opposing his efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue, Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today said entering into a dialogue with India and Pakistan is neccesary because 'these two countries are party to the dispute'. In an apparent reference to his hardline rival Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the Mirwaiz said some elements were accusing the moderate faction of the Hurriyat of a sellout just because it had entered into parleys with India and Pakistan. 'Holding talks with India was called treason. Going to Pakistan was branded the same. I want to ask these leaders who should we talk to if not India and Pakistan who are parties to the Kashmir dispute?' he asked while addressing supporters at the Jama Masjid here after the Friday prayers. 'How long do these people want to run their shops in the name of the Kashmir movement? They should keep in mind that people of Kashmir are suffering.' The Hurriyat office here was attacked with a grenade on Wednesday night, a day before Farooq’s return from Pakistan where he held parleys with mainstream leaders and militants. Farooq said a solution is in India’s interests as it would allow New Delhi to play the role it desires at the international level. India is a strong country — politically, economically and militarily — but we feel it cannot play the role it wants at the international level without resolution of the Kashmir issue.' Lauding the flexibility shown by Pakistan on the issue, Farooq said its 'positive stand has negated Indian propaganda that Islamabad is being selfish by terming Kashmir as its jugular vein'. 'India has been making efforts to impress the international community that Pakistan is after the territory of Jammu and Kashmir by saying the country is not complete without it. 'But President (Pervez) Musharraf made it clear to us that any solution which is acceptable to people of Kashmir would be acceptable to Pakistan as well, irrespective of it being in its favour or not,' Farooq said. The Mirwaiz, who stayed in Pakistan for nine days, said political parties of that country including those in opposition were supportive of Hurriyat’s efforts towards resolution of Kashmir issue. 'The dialogue process between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership needs to be given more impetus. There is a need for a dialogue within the Kashmiri leadership to reach a consensus.' Asserting that the Hurriyat is not hankering for power, the Mirwaiz also reiterated his appeal to militants to support the peace process. ‘‘Our efforts are not for power. We are not seeking any concessions either. We have impressed upon the militant leadership during our visit to Pakistan to support the peace process.' Farooq said the visits of amalgam leaders to the US, Ireland, OIC and Geneva were not pleasures trips but genuine efforts to make the international community aware of what Kashmiris want. Whenever there is talk about Kashmir at an international fora, it is either Indians or Pakistanis who talk about it. We have made efforts to inform the people at international level about aspirations of Kashmiris, he said.


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