Hurriyat (M) Aims To Bring Kashmir Back On Pakistan’s Agenda

Hurriyat (M) Aims To Bring Kashmir Back On Pakistan’s Agenda

11 December 2012
Rising Kashmir
Wasim Khalid

Srinagar: The main aim of Hurriyat (M) delegation visit to Pakistan is to bring Kashmir back on the agenda of Islamabad, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Rising Kashmir here Tuesday. Mirwaiz said their visit would initiate a “process-oriented effort” to bring Kashmir issue on forefront. The delegation (executive body of the conglomerate) would leave for Delhi on Thursday before arriving in Pakistan on Saturday. It is after a gap of five years that a delegation of Hurriyat (M) is visiting Pakistan. “An impression is being given in Pakistan and through the ongoing peace process between two countries that Kashmir does not hold significance as it used to have and that it is not in the picture,” Mirwaiz said. “So the purpose of the visit would be to bring Kashmir to fore. We would stress on Islamabad to bring Kashmir back on its agenda.” He said Kashmir issue seems to have faded amid the range of CBMs and increased bonhomie between India and Pakistan. “We want to clear the impression that the CBMs on small issues like trade are not going to help Kashmir. You have to address Kashmir issue to bring permanent stability in South Asia.” Mirwaiz said it was high time for Kashmiri leadership to give impetus to the core issue “since the Kashmiri discourse was losing it relevance in Pakistan”. He said Kashmir seems to be slipping from the Pakistani media agenda as well. “There are some people in Pakistan who want to give an impression that Kashmir should be kept on backburner. But their constituency is very small,” Mirwaiz said, claiming that majority of the Pakistanis were with Kashmir cause. The Hurriyat (M) chairman said people should not pin high expectations with the visit. “We are visiting Pakistan to bring Kashmir back on agenda. We want to stir a debate in Pakistani civil society. We want to tell them that less killings does not mean end of Kashmir movement. “We would inform them that Kashmir struggle has taken a non-violent path and there is a full-fledged grassroot public movement associated with the cause. That Kashmir issue has become important in the wake of international happenings like Arab Spring and Palestine in the Middle East.” About the reservations expressed by other separatist organizations like Hurriyat (G) over the Pakistan visit, Mirwaiz said Hurriyat (M) wants to make “process- oriented effort” to change the discourse in Pakistan regarding Kashmir issue. “During elections we would meet both ruling and opposition parties. We would stress on them to treat Kashmir issue as first priority in their election manifestos.” Mirwaiz said leadership on both sides of Kashmir need to take active initiatives on their own to bring Kashmir issue into prominence. Asked as to why India and Pakistan did not take Kashmiris along in the dialogue process, Mirwaiz said he raised this query in a meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar. “She clearly told me that Kashmiri leadership has to evolve a mechanism to associate with the dialogue. We are making every effort to evolve that mechanism,” he said. Mirwaiz said among the members of the executive body of Hurriyat (M) invited to Pakistam, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza is yet to get a passport. Another member Shabir Ahmad Shah has applied for the LoC permit. Besides Pakistani political parties, Hurriyat (M) leaders would also hold consultations with civil society, religious parties and other shades of opinion.