Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq Monday urged the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to meet in New York and to end hostilities along the Jammu and Kashmir border.
The chairman of the moderate separatist Hurriyat group also asked both countries to start a dialogue process that would actively associate people of Jammu and Kashmir -- to achieve lasting peace in the region.
"We urgently appeal to both of you to proceed with plans to meet in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September," he said in a letter sent to Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh of India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan.
"It is very important that you do not allow the recent developments to hold back a renewed effort to engage in a process of dialogue," he said in reference to the clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops on the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between the two countries.
"Even if it involves some political risks and even if there are additional negative incidents, you must proceed ahead and meet directly with each other and start working to reduce the current level of mistrust and defuse the present tensions along the LOC and elsewhere in the region."
The Mirwaiz released the letter send to the prime ministers at a press conference in Srinagar.
He expressed concern over the clashes between the Indian and Pakistani militaries on the LoC that have left soldiers and civilians dead on both sides.
"With great distress we have observed daily military confrontations along the LoC over the past few weeks along with increasing tensions, accusations and counter accusations," the Mirwaiz said.
"We believe that the decision to put an end to such hostilities along the LoC in 2003 ceasefire was an act of great wisdom and courageous statesmanship on the part of your predecessors.
"Except for those who do not want peace to prevail in the region, nobody will gain if the present situation along the LoC is allowed to worsen," the letter said.
Saying permanent peace between India and Pakistan was not possible minus the engagement of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said: "India and Pakistan must evolve a formal mechanism to directly involve Kashmiris in substantive dialogue and negotiations on Kashmir."