Minorities Seek Role In Resolution

Minorities Seek Role In Resolution

8 December 2012
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Members of minority community of the state Saturday urged the Hurriyat Conference (M) to include them in the Kashmir resolution process. They also asked chairman of the amalgam, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, to urge Pakistan to allow Kashmiri Pandits free travel to Sharda temple in Pakistan administered Kashmir. Members of Pandit and Sikh communities from various districts of J&K had come to Hurriyat (M) headquarters here to put forth their suggestions ahead of the Pakistan visit of Hurriyat leadership. “We have been feeling isolated over the past 22 years. We can’t believe that we are meeting the Hurriyat leadership face to face. This is really a welcome development for us,” said MK Pandita. “No contact between Hurriyat (M) leaders and members of minority communities resulted in a major communication gap. Hurriyat should take steps to bridge this gap and fill the vacuum,” he said. Manjeet Singh, who represented Gurduwara Prabhandhak Committee, said India and Pakistan divided Kashmir into two halves and let the people suffer. “Minority community has faced tremendous problems over the past two decades of conflict. We have faith in Hurriyat leadership. But at the same time, we want you to keep our sentiments in mind as well while talking Kashmir with India and Pakistan,” he told the Hurriyat leadership. Another participant, ML Pandit, said Kashmir was not a religious problem but a political one that needs to be handled sensitively. “We are living with majority and they are our security,” he said. A Sikh member, Joghi Lal Sethi, said the Sikh community reposes great faith in Hurriyat leadership. “We haven’t moved an inch since last 65 years as for the resolution is concerned. We welcome you for taking initiative of listening to minority community members as well. We believe time will soon come when Kashmir will move forward towards resolution,” he said. Sanjay Sharma, another participant from old city, said KPs have full trust and faith on the Hurriyat leadership. “Our support is with you. We want you to talk about free travel of KP members from Srinagar to our revered shrine of Sharda in PaK,” he said. Many members of KP community stressed that Hurriyat should urge Pakistan to allow Pandits to travel to Shadra shrine. “We are ready to fulfill the formalities regarding travel,” they said. Replying to the points raised by the minorities, Mirwaiz said Hurriyat wanted to get a feedback to formulate a strong opinion before Pakistan visit. “We did not want to make the feedback sessions as only an event, but a full-fledged process,” Mirwaiz said. He assured the Pandits that Hurriyat leadership will urge Pakistan to start a bus service from Sharda shrine in PaK to Hazratbal Srinagar. He said the Hurriyat (M) has been supporting the cross-LoC travel and it wants the state to be economically self-reliant as Kashmir issue had an economic dimension as well.