Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday expressed concern over the Congress' stand on upcoming meeting between prime minister-designate Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and hoped to see a breakthrough for a result-oriented dialogue process between the two.
"I am concerned about various statements issued by the outgoing Congress party over the past few days. Those in power and those in opposition in India share an equal responsibility and moral obligation to be part of the solution," said Mirwaiz, who is also a head priest of the valley.
The Hurriyat stand comes despite Pakistan ignoring him this time. Pakistan PM, departing from the past, has not invited any Hurriyat leaders to Delhi for any meeting. The move has been made apparently not to create any negative air during talks with Modi. In the past two decades, Pakistan's visiting prime minister would always invite Hurriyat leaders in a bid to recognise them as representatives of people.
However, the moderate faction of Hurriyat is expressing hope to see Modi emerging as statesman, who will address the festering Kashmir issue.
"Vital opportunities to gift a peaceful future to our future generations should no longer be consumed in domestic politicking. Let all the political parties of India, Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir make a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir Issue their shared agenda," he said.
He said Kashmiris will be closely watching the developments between India and Pakistan. "If we see any signs of a serious and courageous effort to find a solution, Kashmiris will definitely respond with an even greater sense of seriousness and courage," said the Hurriyat leader, who had, in the past, welcomed efforts of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the issue.
Noting that both Sharif and Modi were given strong democratic mandates by the people of Pakistan and India respectively, Mirwaiz said: "It is my ardent wish that the two leaders would urgently work towards a just and lasting solution to the Kashmir issue."
Mirwaiz welcomed any immediate steps, symbolic or otherwise, that might improve the relationship and build confidence between India and Pakistan. His optimism comes amid pessimism expressed by other separatist leaders.
"I don't think the event has any political significance neither should we create unnecessary hype over it," said JKLF chief Yasin Malik.
Similarly, hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani said it was too early to pin hopes. "Our past experiences have seen unrealistic approach of all the previous governments in New Delhi," said Geelani.
Pakistan prime minister, who sidelined hardliners back home, is holding a one to one meet with Modi after his swearing in ceremony in Delhi.