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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Ready to explore options on Kashmir other than UN resolutions: Mirwaiz

Hindustan Times  Srinagar, January 19, 2013
First Published: 18:56 IST(19/1/2013) | Last Updated: 18:58 IST(19/1/2013)

The moderate Hurriyat Conference has expressed willingness to depart from UN resolutions on Kashmir issue and explore other options to resolve the vexed problem.

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“While there is no denying the fact that the UN resolutions are the basis for resolving Kashmir issue but other options can also be explored,” moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Saturday.

“If Kashmiris are happy with arrangements other than the UN resolutions, we can look at other options as well, provided they address the aspirations and sentiments of people,” he added.
 
The statement assumes significance in the wake of Mirwaiz's recent visit to Pakistan, where he led a seven-member Hurriyat team to talk to a cross section of people, including militant commanders.
 
Referring to former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf’s four-point formula, Mirwaiz said, “Pakistan was very keen to explore other options. But with the change of governments in Pakistan, its policies change too. That is where I feel there should not be a change in the policy,” he said.
 
Mirwaiz, who expressed his support to the famous Musharraf formula, said, “It can be a strong starting point to find an amicable solution.”
 
The Musharraf’s formula suggests identification of regions in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir, demilitarization, 10-year-long self-rule and joint control by India and Pakistan.
 
“The most important confidence-building measure (CBM) Musharraf talked about was demilitarization. If that happens, 50% of what we are aspiring for, could be achieved,” said Mirwaiz, who is also Kashmir’s head priest.
 
Expressing willingness to talk to New Delhi, the Mirwaiz said a conducive atmosphere must be created for that.
 
The Hurriyat chairman said he was for meaningful dialogue with New Delhi. “It is very sad that not a single suggestion put forth by us has been considered till date. I do not see any policy on Kashmir in Delhi. Situation of 2008, 2009 and 2010 should have been a wake-up call for New Delhi but they refused to listen to those calls….We are open to dialogue. The ball is in government of India’s court.”
 
He denied any upcoming meeting with New Delhi. “No, we have not been contacted so far and in immediate future we are not meeting anyone.”

Stating that the recent developments at the Line of Control (LoC) have put raised the tension between India and Pakistan, Mirwaiz said, “no CBM will work as long as there is tension on ground. Time has come for both the countries to address the issue of demilitarization. You talk about de-escalation, it is not possible unless you move towards demilitarization.”


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