Iftaar Snub Pak's 'please India' Move: Mirwaiz29 August 2011
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Moderate separatists have interpreted the Hurriyat’s exclusion from the Pakistan high commission’s iftaar party in terms of the country’s attempts to “please” India. “Pakistan wanted to send India some good vibes. I guess Hina Rabbani’s (Pakistan foreign minister) meeting with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference created some issues,” moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times. The Pakistan high commission in India organised in New Delhi last week an iftaar party to which a delegation of Indian parliamentarians were invited. Kashmir’s Congress leader Saif ud Din Soz was also present there. “Soz was probably invited as a parliamentarian, not as a leader from Kashmir,” the Mirwaiz said, adding, “it is not a big issue. Let them (India and Pakistan) build trust if that helps.” It has also been reported that Pakistan is considering giving India most-favoured nation (MFN) status in trade relations. For more than a decade now, iftaar parties have become a diplomatic tool for Pakistan to extend support to the Hurriyat’s Kashmir cause. The moderate Hurriyat has decided not to oppose Pakistan’s reported move to grant India MFN status. “We have always been for better India-Pakistan relations. If MFN status can build more trust between the two countries, I have no issue with that. But India will have to reciprocate by taking Kashmir-centric confidence-building measures,” the Mirwaiz said. However, the hardline Hurriyat faction played down the iftar party incident. “It was not an usual iftaar party and restricted to Indian and Pakistan parliamentarians,” Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar told HT. “We are in constant touch with Pakistan,” he added. The moderate Hurriyat faction has put conditions such as demilitarisation and the revocation of draconian laws for a dialogue involving India, Pakistan and the leadership of Kashmir.