Pak Asks Separatists To Unite

Pak Asks Separatists To Unite

6 January 2010
Greater Kashmir
Sheikh Ahmad and Zulifkar Majid

New Delhi: Kashmiri separatist leaders Wednesday called on Pakistan National Assembly Speaker, Fehmida Mirza, at Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi where both sides discussed latest Kashmir situation and other issues. Mirza said the Kashmir dispute was a stumbling block in the restoration and normalisation of relations between her country and India and asked all separatist groups to work under one banner to help the people of the state to achieve their cherished goal. Fehmida made an appeal to all the groups to sink their differences and work together to ‘help realise the people their goal.’ “The Pak leader talked to Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq about unification of the Hurriyat,” sources said. While Geelani put Hurriyat constitution of 1993 as a pre-condition for any unification effort, Mirwaiz told Mirza that though there was difference of opinion in the separatist camp, but the goal was same, sources added. “We told her that there were different voices in Kashmir, but the goal of every one is same. She agreed with our point of view and said ‘agreeing to disagree is democracy’,” Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir. Reports said the ongoing quiet talks initiated by New Delhi with some separatist groups also came up for discussion. The Speaker strongly favoured resumption of composite dialogue process with India, adding that all outstanding issues including the Kashmir dispute can be resolved through dialogue. “Pakistan is willing for early resumption of dialogue and this has been stated by the Pakistani leaders on several occasions in the past,” she said. Mirwaiz and other leaders favoured tripartite talks on the Kashmir issue. He stressed the need for involvement of Kashmiris in the talks, stating that bilateral process would remain meaningless. Syed Ali Shah Geelani is understood to have opposed any unilateral talks of separatists with the Indian government. Chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference were invited to Pakistan during the meetings, sources told Greater Kashmir. Reports said first to reach Pak High Commission was Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He arrived at 4 pm and had a one-hour meet with Mirza and Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Geelani said, “I briefed her about the latest situation in Kashmir. I also urged her that Pakistan National Assembly and Senate should pass a resolution to urge United Nations to appoint a special tribunal to probe Shopain double rape and murder case.” Geelani also conveyed his concern related to Pakistan situation to Mirza and Malik. “I told them that Pakistan is under the influence of US and the present situation is the result of that.” “I was invited by Fehmida Mirza ji to Pakistan. I told her that I’ve to undergo an eye surgery tomorrow so I can’t come for some time,” Geelani added. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq accompanied by Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone and Agha Budgami reached the High Commission at 5 pm. “She assured us that Pakistan was committed to its Kashmir policy despite internal problems. Fehmida Ji told us that peace in South Asia was directly linked to Kashmir and without its solution peace would elude. She also supported our endeavours for peace,” Mirwaiz added. The Hurriyat (M) Chairman also conveyed to Pak leader that they were in favour of early resumption of composite dialogue between India and Pakistan. Regarding Pakistan visit, Mirwaiz said, “Fehmida Ji gave a hint that we will be soon visiting Pakistan, but didn’t mention the date.” The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik called on Mirza at 5:45 pm. “I briefed her about the latest Kashmir situation. We had a detailed discussion about various issues,” Malik told Greater Kashmir. The meetings were held in a cordial conducive, said a senior diplomat of the Pakistan High Commission. Pak High Commissioner Shahid Malik and senior diplomats were also present at the meetings. This is the first time after Mumbai attacks that any high level leader from Pakistan visited New Delhi and called on Kashmiri separatist leaders. The Speaker also met leaders of several Indian political parties and exchanged views with them. Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had invited Kashmiri separatist leaders for a meeting with Senate Deputy Chairman, Farooq Ahmad Nayak and Dr Fehmida Mirza. However, Nayak couldn’t make it to New Delhi.


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