Mirwaiz Back From Pak, Warns Of 2010-Like Upsurge

SRINAGAR: Back in Srinagar after a 10-day visit to Pakistan, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday warned of a 2010-like agitation in the New Year if “dilatory tactics on resolving Kashmir continue.”  

“We are absolutely prepared to engage in talks at any time, but unless there is a positive change in the ground situation, every dialogue process will remain futile,” the Mirwaiz said in an address to the Friday congregation shortly after the team of 7 Hurriyat (M) leaders arrived in Srinagar.

“The people of Kashmir expressed their sentiments peacefully in 2010,” he said.

“If, instead of dilatory tactics, urgent steps to resolve the Kashmir issue are not considered forthwith, there will be a similar situation in 2013 also,” he said, stressing that India hiked its defence budget every year because of Kashmir while 40 per cent of its population lived in poverty.

Hundreds of enthusiastic supporters chanting azadi and Islamic slogans had brought the Hurriyat (M) team in a cavalcade straight to the historic mosque from the Srinagar airport.

The Mirwaiz described the trip as of “extra-ordinary importance in the present situation,” and said that it had created a climate that would pave the way for resolving the Kashmir issue.

“We not only held talks with top leaders of the government with an open mind, but also met the opposition, prominent public figures, civil society members, and leaders of all political parties for extensive discussions,” the Mirwaiz said.

“The Kashmiri people have the unconditional support of the leadership and the masses in Pakistan,” he said. “And now that the country is heading for elections, we have tried that all political parties there include the just resolution of the Kashmir issue in their poll manifestoes.”      

“The Pakistani people and leadership are fully aware of the pain and suffering of Kashmiiris, and they have repeatedly assured us of political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri freedom struggle at every level,” he said.

“Entire Pakistan acknowledges that the Kashmir issue is the question of the aspirations and sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and their political future, and every bilateral process will remain incomplete without the inclusion of the Kashmiri leadership,” he said.

“The Kashmir issue is the greatest hurdle in better economic ties between India and Pakistan, and unless it is resolved in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, the dream of peace and stability will not be realised in the region,” he said.

“Today, there is a lot of talk about economic progress, but the first requirement for that is economic stability,” he said. “But political stability in the South Asian region is linked to the Kashmir issue.”  

“The Afghanistan issue needs to be seen in the perspective of a resolution of the Kashmir issue. Because resolving the Afghan problem is embedded in Indo-Pak friendship. And there is no prospect of a positive turn in Indo-Pak friendship unless the greatest obstacle in their ties, the Kashmir issue, is resolved,” he said.

“Acknowledging the ground realities here, and mass revolutions in other regions of the world, India must bring flexibility to its approach, because no people can be kept enslaved for long by economic prowess and military might,” he said.

“The Kashmir movement is a mass movement carried on by generation after generation for the past 71 years, and no elections or political and economic packages can alter the complexion of the Kashmir issue,” he said.

“There is no cause for disappointment because the positive thinking evolving on Kashmir at the international level will lead to the resolution of the issue in accordance with the wishes of the people,” he said.

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