Mirwaiz Internationally Accepted Leader: Bilal

SRINAGAR – Lashing out at critics, a senior Hurriyat Conference (M) leader on Monday said that nobody should expect that Hurriyat leaders will get a certificate of freedom from Islamabad during their upcoming Pak visit.

“People must realize that Kashmiris themselves have to take initiatives to break the ice and move forward,” executive member of the Mirwaiz led Hurriyat Conference Bilal Gani Lone told KNS on Monday, adding that the Hurriyat delegation was not going to Islamabad for a picnic. “We have been invited by a state. Hurriyat has not sought invitation, but have been invited by the government of that country to initiate dialogue”, said Lone.

 He added that those who question the timing of the visit should understand that the delegation would be holding talks with every important politician and political party including PPP, PML (N), and PTI. “What has Hurriyat got to do with elections, whosoever comes to power, the system is going to be the same”, argued Lone.

He further said that India and Pakistan were two sovereign countries and Hurriyat leaders were not in a position to ask Pakistan what it should or shouldn’t do. “Why are people asking us about the timing of the visit? They should ask Pakistan who have invited us”, asserted Lone.

He made it clear that Kashmiris have to break the status quo and move forward ‘as no solution to the problem could come out by sitting indoors’. “We want to discuss the issues with Pakistan and India so that something concrete comes out of it. If we as stakeholders don’t take initiatives who else is going to solve our problem”, asked Bilal.

He insisted that the Hurriyat delegation was not traveling to Pakistan for facilitating a change in governance  in the neighboring country or address the grievances, instead it wanted to make a headway in the resolution process.  He however was quick to add that they (Hurriyat) had no road map or proposals to offer to the Pak government. “We only would discuss the issues and see what Pakistan was up to, because it has been more than five years since we last traveled to that country.”

“We are going to a friendly country, why should anyone have objections. Let’s discuss the things and see how we can move ahead,” said Lone, who is part of the hurriyat delegation, which is leaving for Pakistan on Friday.

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