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Mirwaiz seeks Hindus support for peace

He said that it is not an economic issue nor an issue of power, but a humanitarian issue involving everyone.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 23:47 IST

Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has urged people of the Hindu-dominated Jammu region to help him "build bridges" with the Muslim-majority Valley, saying that a lasting solution of the Kashmir crisis was possible only with their support.

"I have come here to build bridges between you and the people of the Valley," he said at a rally.

Farooq is the first Kashmiri separatist leader to hold a public rally in Jammu in more than a decade. Shabir Shah of the Democratic Freedom Party had last held a rally in September 1994 on his release from jail.

"Come forward to find an amicable solution. You may belong to any party, any religion or any region. Let us march together in finding a way out of this quagmire," Farooq maintained.

According to him, a solution to the Kashmir dispute could only be found with the involvement of the people from all the regions, namely Jammu, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh and PoK.

"It is neither an economic issue, nor an issue of who holds power. It is basically a humanitarian issue which we want to resolve by taking everyone along. It is a question of the sentiments of the people," he said.

"Those who portray the Kashmir issue as a Muslim Kashmir versus a Hindu India are spreading wrong information. They are misleading the people," he added.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference chief, who broke the ice with the Indian Government in January 2004, was received by his supporters at Jammu airport and was brought in a cavalcade to Jammu city, as hundreds of onlookers watched along the 10 kilometre-long route.

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 22:23 IST