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Mirwaiz hints at spearheading Kashmiri leadership

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq hinted at spearheading the Kashmiri leadership in the decisive phase of the possible Kashmir resolution, reports Faisul Yaseen.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 15:26 IST

People who aren't with us today will be with us tomorrow, moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Monday and hinted at spearheading the Kashmiri leadership in the decisive phase of the possible Kashmir resolution.

Mirwaiz said that the world order was changing and cited an example of how a political party having as extreme views as suggesting India of attacking the militant camps across LoC was changing its ideology and jumping into the bandwagon of peace process. He was clearly hinting at the opposition National Conference.

The Kashmir's head priest also lashed out at the extremist Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani's approach about the ongoing peace process. "Nothing would come out of extremism. We've to be accommodative and flexible," he said without naming Geelani.

Addressing media persons ahead of his Pakistan visit Mirwaiz said that the Kashmiris were an agonised lot who were looking upon the Kashmiri leadership to take them out of the quagmire of violence.

"Being at the receiving end of the hostilities, it is we who have to take the initiative brining peace and force New Delhi and Islamabad to arrive at a long-lasting solution to the Kashmir issue," Mirwaiz said. He also urged upon New Delhi and Islamabad to allow Kashmiris across the two sides of LoC to arrive at a Common Minimum Programme through an intra-Kashmir dialogue.

Concluding his visit to Jammu, Mirwaiz said that feelers coming from Islamabad were appreciative but added same could not be said of New Delhi.

"We want to know why New Delhi is not interested in creating an atmosphere of peace in Kashmir. Till the ground situation in Kashmir doesn't change, a Kashmiri would be skeptic of India and the dialogue with it," he said.

Reminding the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of his promise of zero-level tolerance against the human rights violations in the state, the chairman of the conglomerate of various separatist parties said New Delhi was not respecting even its PM's commitment.

"A large number of political prisoners who were released by the Courts are rearrested by troops and paramilitary forces in fake cases," he said demanding release of all such detainees.

Mirwaiz also called upon repealing of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and allowing international human rights organisations to visit Kashmir who are not permitted by New Delhi to check human rights violations there.

"Hurriyat itself two weeks back passed a resolution of not being cowed down by any group in being vocal on condemning human rights violations committed by anyone be it troops, paramilitary forces, police or militant groups," said Mirwaiz, considered a forward-looking leader in the state.

He also expressed grave concern on the harassment of Kashmiri youth studying and doing business in different Indian states.

"New Delhi's policy isn't clear. They're giving mixed signals at different levels. Its focus is more on New Delhi-Srinagar relationship. Instead it should focus on a New Delhi-Islamabad-Srinagar-Muzaffarabad rectangular dialogue process,"
he said.

About the strike call announced by the extremist Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on January 17 against the dialogue process, Mirwaiz said nothing had ever came out of extremism.

Email Faisul Yaseen: faisulyaseen@gmail.com