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Hurriyat message to Delhi via Pak!

india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 14:53 IST
Arun Joshi
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The All Parties Hurriyat Conference will carry its own version of the "out of box" solution of Jammu and Kashmir crisis to Pakistan and ensure that there is a proper synthesis on this before Islamabad takes up the Kashmir issue with Delhi.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is to lead the delegation of his faction of the Hurriyat Conference to Islamabad next month, told Hindustan Times on Monday that the visit would be before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Pakistan. 

The timing for the visit has been chosen for "we are sure that Pakistan government must have prepared agenda for talks with Prime Minister when he visits them. We want to exchange notes and see that our view point on the issues is accommodated. Our point is that we should be taken into confidence as to what Pakistan is going to discuss with India."

"Since the peace process is on, we want to know what conclusions we are heading to. And we want to contribute with our ideas and concepts that we have developed over the  years."

There is a great deal of unanimity on issues between the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference and Islamabad, but still the Hurriyat Conference leadership wants to assert its position.

"We have a proposal of the United States of Kashmir – the regional councils for all the five regions on the two sides of the Line of Control - joint parliament of all the regions, self governance – in which the people can govern in the real sense of the word. We are carrying this to Islamabad," Mirwaiz said.

He agreed that vis-à-vis Pakistan, "our Hurriyat and Pakistan government have the same line of thinking that there should be an out of box solution and that too sooner than later." The hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani is in complete disagreement with Pakistan’s new approach. Geelani faction insists on the grant of the right of self determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

To a question as to why the Hurriyat is choosing "via Pakistan route" to deliver its message to Delhi, when it has the option of talking directly to Pakistan, the Mirwaiz recalled his group’s meeting with Prime Minister in Delhi in September last year and May this year: "We were told that the government will form  a committee and Hurriyat will form its own. The two will meet again and deliberate on the issue."

"But nothing has happened so far. They (GOI) are insisting on round table conference. Our point is that, let’s reach somewhere before we involve others and talk across the round table. We can’t put the cart before the horse."
He made it a point to say that, "it should not be forgotten that we were the first to initiate dialogue with Delhi despite so many odds and risks before us. We are open to talk to Government of India, but there should be some response to what we have said and agreed on before."

The Mirwaiz said that the situation is changing in South Asian region and, "we earnestly believe there is an opportunity knocking at our door and our own effort is to transform the climate between India and Pakistan from confrontation to cooperation on Kashmir."

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