Hurriyat (M) Leaders To Visit Pak In Dec

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Separatists, Civil Society In Touch Over Amarnath Issue: Mirwaiz

SRINAGAR – A high-level delegation of Hurriyat Conference (M) headed by its chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, is all set to visit Pakistan next month. Ahead of the weeklong visit commencing on December 17, the forum leaders would meet with the Pakistani high commissioner and his aides in New Delhi.

Talking to KNS on Sunday, Mirwaiz said Hurriyat Conference leaders would be visiting Pakistan between December 17 and 23 and ahead of that the forum’s Majlis-e-Shoora would meet here on Tuesday to finalize its agenda for the all important visit.

Next week, he said, the Hurriyat team would visit New Delhi for consultations with the Pak high commissioner, Salman Bashir, his deputy, Babar Amin, and other officials during which the itinerary of the delegation’s Pak visit would be finalized. Bashir has invited the Hurriyat team for the purpose.

During their visit to Paksitan and Pak-administered Kashmir, he said, the Hurriyat leaders would meet various political leaders apart from government functionaries as also various civil society groups. They are likely to meet the president and prime minister of Pakistan as well.

“We want to avail ourselves of this opportunity to put the Kashmiris’ views across to the Pakistani leadership. We’re not against India-Pakistan dialogue but the core issue of Kashmir has to be addressed first. We would tell them that they should insist on inclusion of Kashmiri leadership in the dialogue process for permanent settlement of K-Issue,” Mirwaiz said.

Hurriyat leaders’ visit to Pakistan assumes greater significance in view of the Indian prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh’s proposed visit to the neighboring country in January 2013. Mirwaiz said that despite growth of trade relations between India and Pakistan, ceasefire violations were taking place along the Line of Control only because the resolution of Kashmir issue was pending.

“We have always emphasized that India has to be sincere in dialogue process. When we talk about Kashmir, it means pre-1947 Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, adding that the   international community, including UNO, OIC, European Union, European Parliament,   Amnesty International and Asia Watch, was lately evincing greater interest in the final settlement of the Kashmir dispute.

During his recent visit to Geneva, Mirwaiz said, he had made efforts at various forums to highlight the miseries of Kashmiri people. “In 2008, United Nations/ NGOs sent only four recommendation to India and this year around 170 recommendations were sent asking the government of India to improve the human rights record and 40 among them are Kashmir related,” Mirwaiz said.

Unfortunately, Mirwaiz said, due to the prevailing internal situation in some Muslim countries, they (Muslim countries) were preoccupied with their own issues but Kashmir issue was still at the top and OIC had made significant commitments on it. “Our aim is to highlight Kashmir issue on the international forums and I feel we have succeeded in doing that to some extent,” he said.

On the proposed road construction to Amarnath cave shrine and related issues, Mirwaiz said he was the first to raise the issue. “The matter is being investigation and various groups, including the civil society, are in touch with separatists to arrive at a consensus,” he said, adding that after further consultation and consensus, the future course of action would be decided. 

Describing the recent attacks on the minority Muslim community in Zanskar area of Kargil district by communal forces as the ‘state government’s failure’, Hurriyat (M) chairman said the planned attacks were a threat to other residents of the area who wished to embrace Islam out of their own free will.

“Some people in Zanskar embraced Islam out of their own free will and consent but the state government has failed to provide them protection. It is a failure of the government which clearly shows its inability and inefficiency,” Mirwaiz said, asking the authorities to ensure full protection to the Muslim community in the region.  (KNS)

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