The moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, termed the meeting of foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan a "positive development", but called upon the prime ministers of both the countries to take up Kashmir issue on a priority basis.
In a statement on Wednesday, the APHC said they (separatists) were ready to "move forward."
While Mirwaiz was not available for comment, a senior leader from the APHC confirmed that the separatist group was ready for dialogue. "Moving forward means we are ready to talk with the Centre if they initiate a meaningful dialogue,'' said an APHC leader.
The statement comes a few days after the PDP-BJP common minimum programme talked about engaging Pakistan and separatists in a meaningful dialogue.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had also credited Hurriyat and Pakistan for "successful conduct of the elections in the state."
"We welcome the renewed efforts by India and Pakistan to re-engage on the path of dialogue after a breakdown of diplomacy and a period of high tensions.
"The meeting is a positive development and the Hurriyat has always welcomed any step that might improve the relationship and build confidence between India and Pakistan since it is a requisite for any process to resolve the Kashmir dispute," the amalgam said in a statement here after a meeting of its executive council.
The Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the prime ministers of both the countries should engage each other and involve the leadership of Jammu and Kashmir in a combined effort to find a solution to the problem.
"The time has come for the Government of India, Government of Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir to engage in a serious effort to resolve the Kashmir issue once and for all," the group said.
"We call upon both the prime ministers to take up the Kashmir issue in a more serious way and as a matter of priority. They should engage each other and involve the leadership of Jammu and Kashmir in a combined effort to find a solution that accommodates the needs and interests of all parties and which upholds the Kashmiri people's aspirations and right of self-determination," the statement said.
"The only thing required is the political will and imagination to search for it," it said.
The Hurriyat said the Kashmir issue must not be ignored or brushed aside and precious time should not be wasted to initiate a meaningful dialogue process.
Referring to the meeting of foreign secretaries, the Hurriyat said bureaucratic engagements would not be able to tackle what was "essentially" a political issue requiring the exercise of real statesmanship and political decision-making.
"If the leadership in India and Pakistan continue to avoid the path of statesmanship and continue to rely on bureaucratic approaches and process, it will only serve to keep South Asia endlessly trapped in uncertainty and instability.
"We have seen processes start, stretch on and on with little progress achieved only to get stalled and then start again. In the meantime, the people of Kashmir suffer the uncertainty of the ongoing conflict," it said.
THE APHC executive committee had met to discuss political developments including the foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan. The meeting, besides Mirwaiz, was attended by the executive members which included Prof Gani Butt, Moulana Abbas Ansari and Bilal Gani Lone (brother of cabinet minister Sajad Lone).