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Kashmiri separatists want a separate RTC with PM

Kashmiri separatists want to have a separate Round Table Conference to sort out the issues regarding Kashmir, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: May 01, 2007 12:59 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi
Hindustan Times

Kashmiri separatists want to have a separate Round Table Conference with Prime Minister to sort out the issues regarding Kashmir problem in their own way.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that it would be "better if Government of India invites all separatists and talks to them at a separate Round Table Conference".

He told

Hindustan Times

, on his return from Syria, that a separate RTC with separatists would "help in building confidence and trust in the dialogue process and making it wider". He said: "separatists would be able to air their views and raise the issues which have not been touched upon by others so far at the three Round Table Conferences" held by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh so far.

The Mirwaiz said that if I go in for this kind of dialogue process, "I am sure that separatists will take part in it".

"Our issues deserve special and separate attention", he said and reminded that his group was the first to talk about the troops reduction way back in January 2004, much before the idea came from other quarters. Likewise, he said, "We were the first to talk of the recognition and realization of regional, sub- regional, ethnic and linguistic aspirations of the people on the two sides."

Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party leader Shabir Shah said that it was a "good idea". He is of the view that all separatist groups should unite on the issue of the dialogue and human rights issues. "These are the two primary issues, and we cannot shy away from these."

"But, first of all the unity of the two factions of the Hurriyat Conference and others separatist groups is must," Shabir said and disclosed that he was working toward this objective.

This view of separate RTC with separatists has also been supported by some of the mainstream leaders as well. Peoples Democratic Front Chairman and Transport Minister Hakim Mohammad Yaseen had raised this issue at the third Round Table Conference, where he had bemoaned that "adequate efforts were not made to involve the separatists."

" Let Prime Minister take a bold initiative and invite them separately and hold a separate round table conference with the separatist leaders," PDF leader had said.

But Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that a number of issues that separatists, be that moderate Hurriyat Conference, JKLF or Peoples Conference raised in their meetings with Prime Minister, had been addressed by the Round Table Conferences and the Working Groups.

His reference was to the issues of release of prisoners, return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri youth from across the LoC and greater check on human rights violations and strengthening of the cross-LoC relations.

" They should have taken part and shared their perceptions, " Azad said.

When it was pointed out to Mirwaiz, he said: " It is good to hear all this., but where is the implementation.".

ht epaper

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