After Pak Visit, Mirwaiz Stresses 5-Point Demand For Talks With Delhi

Says Trip Brought New Dimension To Kashmir Resolution Process

SRINAGAR: Claiming that the Hurriyat (M)’s visit to Pakistan had brought a “new dimension” to efforts on resolving the Kashmir issue, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday reiterated the need for tripartite talks over the question, and underlined his five-point demands as the basis for starting a dialogue with New Delhi.

“They (New Delhi) have been reluctant to address the demands which I think could have set the stage for dialogue to take off,” the Mirwaiz, who returned to New Delhi with his delegation on Wednesday, said, voicing satisfaction on talks in Pakistan.

He said he had no knowledge of reports suggesting that the prime minister of India intended to invite the alliance for talks, but maintained that the Hurriyat (M) was not averse to dialogue.

The Hurriyat (M) chairman insisted that for initiating a serious dialogue process, the union government would have to bring “a visible change on the ground which would be noticeable to Kashmiris.”

“You can’t expect dialogue to flourish unless there is a change on the ground,” the Mirwaiz was quoted by the KNS as having said. “Dialogue shouldn’t be for the sake of dialogue, you have to be serious in the engagement and give Kashmiris the confidence that something concrete will come out of it,” he said, adding that a visible change in the ground situation was imperative to move forward on the issue.

The Mirwaiz was referring to five demands the Hurriyat (M) has outlined over two years ago, involving repeal of draconian laws like the AFSPA, the release of detainees, moving troops back to barracks, halt to human rights violations and probes into excesses against civilians.  

Upbeat on the outcome of the faction’s Pakistan visit, the Mirwaiz stressed that it had brought a new dimension to the efforts in resolving the Kashmir issue, but stressed that stressed that nothing could be achieved by keeping the Kashmiris away from the negotiating table.

He refused to accept that the visit was ‘futile,’ saying that it should be seen as the beginning of a solution. 

“We understand that a solution won’t come overnight, or with just one or two visits, but this visit has paved way for a comprehensive process to reach to the final settlement,” he said. Underscoring the need to include Kashmiris in the dialogue process, the Mirwaiz said that bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan won’t yield any results as Kashmirs were the basic and important party to the issue

“Kashmiris are important to the dispute and you can’t sideline them,” he said.

Due to arrive back in Srinagar on Friday, the Mirwaiz has called for a meeting of the Hurriyat (M)’s general and executive councils Saturday to brief them on the Pakistan visit.

During the 10-day visit which started on December 15, the Mirwaiz, heading a team of his executive members, met the Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, prime minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, foreigen minister Hina Rabbani Khar, former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharief, his brother and Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shabaz Sharieff, Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan, leaders of the MQM, Jama’at- e-Islami and the Jami’at-e-Alh-i-e Hadees and civil society groups and NGOs .

The delegation also visited Muzafarabad where they met PaK President Sardar Yaqoob Khan, Premier Choudary Majeed and his colleagues in the cabinet.

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