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Hurriyat optimistic about Pak visit

'We hope to have something concrete from Islamabad this time', says Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2007 19:54 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi

All Parties Hurriyat Conference is hoping to get something in black and white about the contours and contents of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf''s four -point formula on Kashmir.

"We hope to have something concrete from Islamabad this time, which we can discuss and deliberate in substantive terms", APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times.

And the biggest talking point at the moment, he said is the four-point formula of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, which has triggered an intense debate.

The moderate Hurriyat Conference that is a strong votary of debate and discussion on the formula as a way out for Kashmir, has annoyed hardliners by its stand- the fundamentalist groups headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and terrorist outfits opposed to President Musharraf in Pakistan and moderates in Kashmir Valley.

These terrorist outfits demonstrated their anger by targeting the residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in Nageen area in Srinagar on Monday.

"The time has come when there should be something in a documented form, that we can discuss and interpret and talk about among the people, though he felt that the Musharraf proposals, as they have appeared in media, have the strength and sincerity of purpose to resolve the Kashmir issue", he said.

Pakistani President, first in his book and later with an Indian TV news channel while ruling out plebiscite under the UN resolutions of 1948-49 on Kashmir, and independence for the Himalayan state, had proposed: (a) Jammu and Kashmir be defined in geographical terms (b) a phased demilitarisation be effected troops shifted to barracks; (c) self governance for different regional and ethnic groups in the state, primarily in the five units - three in Jammu and Kashmir and two on Pak side; and (d) joint management by an over-arching body of both India and Pakistan to over see the state of affairs of the State, which will have borders in name only.

The APHC is aware that these proposals are hated by the extremists, but it feels that the changed times require out of the box solution.

"We have to move forward and respect aspirations of the people. It is that direction, that we are following," he said.

Regarding attack at his house, he said that "frustrated elements" were trying to use the "scare strategy to enforce a general strike against our visit to Pakistan."
"But let me tell them that the dialogue path is the best suited for the people of the state, and we will honour wishes of the people rather than getting dictated by voices of extremism."

The Hurriayt Conference will also take opportunity to talk to the militant outfits based in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and try to tell them that how and why dialogue has more power than the guns, at this point of time.
Arun Joshi

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First Published: Jan 16, 2007 19:54 IST