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Hurriyat defers visit to Pakistan

india Updated: Jan 05, 2007 19:46 IST
Arun Joshi
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In a major diplomatic move, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, ready with its Jammu and Kashmir solution formula, has deferred its visit to Pakistan until the visit of Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Islamabad is over next week.

It would now await outcome of Foreign Minister's Pakistan visit before leaving for Islamabad to discuss its Jammu and Kashmir papers with Pakistani leadership in a clever diplomatic move to allow Delhi and Islamabad to work on Jammu and Kashmir, without any interruptions of any sort.

"We are ready with our proposals on Jammu and Kashmir, which we want to discuss with leadership of Pakistan," APHC Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times on phone. "But, first, we would wait for the outcome of Indian Foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan. That would offer us an important clue as to how the things were progressing between the two nations." Mukherjee’s proposed two-day visit to Pakistan from January 13, he said, is "a good step".

"The improving ties between India and Pakistan can deliver benefit to the people of Jammu and Kashmir if our aspirations are recognised and accommodated in a dignified manner," Mirwaiz said. In this regard, he pointed out that Mukherjee’s visit would be a great pointer.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s luncheon meeting with BJP leadership on Tuesday has dropped certain hints. Kashmiri separatists have read positive signals in Manmohan Singh’s welcome of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s four point formula to resolve Jammu and Kashmir as "new  ideas" and his public expression to discuss those ideas. Both, Manmohan Singh  and Musharraf have one common agenda: to make Line of Control dividing Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan as "irrelevant" borderline.

With Pranab Mukherjee’s Islamabad visit coming up next week, Hurriyat Conference sees it pointless to undertake its visit to Pakistan before that.

The Hurriyat leadership will deliberate on the "outcome" of foreign minister’s visit before embarking on journey to Islamabad.

Initially, Hurriyat Conference had planned this visit in November last year, but because of the political and diplomatic developments and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s visit to the European countries, deferred it. It was expected that the visit would take place immediately after his return from Ireland and Norway and the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Azha.

The basic purpose of Hurriyat Conference’s visit to Pakistan is to "work out" a comprehensive roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir solution, which has the backing of the people and leadership of Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and it also sounds realistic and practical to Delhi too.

"We want to have a solution that is acceptable to all. It may be a difficult task but not an impossible one," Mirwaiz said.

Email Arun Joshi: ajoshi _957@rediffmail.com

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