Hurriyat Not To Participate In Third Roundtable
18 April 2007
Sumbal: Keeping in line with its earlier stand, the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference today said it would not participate in the third roundtable conference called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the national capital on April 24. Chairman of the moderate faction Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, while addressing a public rally here, 20-km from Srinagar, said the amalgam would not be part of any such process which had been called to discuss Centre-State relations and financial assistance to Jammu and Kashmir. He said Hurriyat, which did not participate in the two roundtable conferences on Kashmir held last year, could attend a conference if it includes representatives from Pakistan and PoK and the agenda was the four- point proposal of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. 'We are not going to take part in the roundtable conference if its agenda is to discuss the Centre-State relations, rehabilitation of orphans and widows and financial assistance to Jammu and Kashmir,' the Mirwaiz said. 'They should talk to Hurriyat and militant leadership who represent the sentiments of the people,' he said adding Hurriyat would again go to the militant leadership and ask them to participate in the talks if India was willing. JKLF also turned down the invitation extended by the Centre for the third roundtable conference saying that such exercises would not be fruitful until militant groups were involved in the talks. Hardline Hurriyat faction led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani had already turned down the invitation. 'Kashmir issue is not an internal matter of India but involves India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir. Let India take one step, Hurriyat will take ten steps. But New Delhi is not willing to initiate (the dialogue process),' Mirwaiz claimed. He alleged that India did not want to resolve Kashmir issue but were looking for a separatist party to come forward for giving cancessions. 'We are not ready for these things. They have PDP and Congress for that,' he said. Mirwaiz said Hurriyat would support any process for resolution of Kashmir issue but inclusion of representatives of people of Jammu and Kashmir was of paramount importance. Hitting out at detractors, Mirwaiz said an impression was being created that the public contact programme of the amalgam was the beginning of an election campaign. 'We are not here to take part in elections. Elections are not a solution to Kashmir issue which has been proved in the past,' he said. Accusing PDP and National Conference of 'shedding crocodile tears over the sufferings of the people', he claimed that they did not represent the people as one party was responsible for bringing the Army into the state while the other hankered after concessions and power. 'Today they talk about involvement of militants in the dialogue process but they are the ones who sent them to graveyards,' he said. Mirwaiz asked the parties to stop 'craving for power' and support Hurriyat's efforts for resolution of Kashmir issue if the interest of the people were supreme to them. 'But we know they will not do it,' he added.