'Pak not comfortable with independent Kashmir' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Pak not comfortable with independent Kashmir'

The Hurriyat chief appreciated the stand of Ghulam Nabi Azad that aspirations of people need to be taken care of.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2006 20:52 IST

The Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has said Pakistan is not comfortable with the idea of an independent Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the Hurriyat chief appreciated the stand of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad that aspirations of people of all the regions of the state need to be taken care of while deciding the Kashmir issue.

"Why only India? Even Pakistan is not comfortable with the concept of an independent Kashmir," Mirwaiz told a news agency when asked to react on the reported statement of Pakistan President Perzez Muharraf in Davos.

Mirwaiz, in an attempt to woo Kashmiri pundits to the idea of self-rule and explore their possible return to the Valley, said there was a certain flexibility on the part of the establishment in Islamabad and wanted New Delhi to pursue the path of dialogue earnestly.

About his visit to Jammu, Mirwaiz said he wanted to listen to the wishes of the people in this region and also inform them about the concept of self-rule as suggested by the Pakistan President.

Asked to comment on the Chief Minister's recent statement where he had favoured taking on board the aspiration of all the people, including those in Gilgit and Baltistan, the Mirwaiz said "it's a good suggestion."

The Hurriyat chief also suggested the separatist amalgam was happy as long as India and Pakistan were talking.

"There is always a ray of hope as long as these two countries are talking," he said.

About bringing back Kashmiri pundits, he said their return should not be linked to the resolution of Kashmir issue.

"Their return is possible only after a consensus is built between all the parties which also included the mainstream political parties like BJP, Congress and regional parties like National Conference and PDP," he said.

Terming his meeting with Kashmiri pundits as "an investment," he said "this is a fresh beginning. We want to restore the Kashmir where Sufism and communal harmony were the order of the day."

He also said the Hurriyat would take up the issue of return of Kashmiri pundits with militant groups "when the time comes."

To a query when the second round of talks with the Centre would be held, the Mirwaiz said "we are not against the talks but it seems that the Centre is not sincere in its efforts and nothing concrete has been done on the ground ever since we met Manmohan Singh in September last year."