Time For Bold Decisions On Kashmir: Mirwaiz

SRINAGAR: Calling for “political will and bold decisions” to resolve the Kashmir issue, the chairman of the Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, on Saturday said that the long-standing question pertained to “all regions” of the Jammu and Kashmir state as it stood prior to 1947, and should be resolved through UN resolutions or tripartite negotiations. 

The Mirwaiz was addressing a press conference here after a joint session of the Hurriyat (M)’s general and executive councils to brief constituents about its just-concluded Pakistan visit. 

The Mirwaiz termed the trip as extremely fruitful and successful, saying that the Hurriyat (M) had held exhaustive consultations with all national-level political parties in Pakistan, civil society members and leaders of all parties in Azad Kashmir. 

“Our trip was also important in the sense that we had held over a month-long consultation process back home, and had the full support of the masses behind us,” he said. 

“In our visit we felt that there is complete concord in Pakistan at all levels of the government and the public over the Kashmir issue,” he said. 

“The trip needs to be viewed in a realistic perspective with regard to the Kashmir issue,” he said. 

“When we talk of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, we mean all areas of the state as it existed before 1947,” he said. 

“We are not against better relations between India and Pakistan evolving out of Confidence Building Measures, and we know that the two countries have outstanding issues like Siachen, Sir Creek and water also, but CBMs will not work unless the Kashmir issue is resolved, and nor will any headway be made on the other disputes,” he said. 

“We have no ambiguities so far as resolving the Kashmir issue is concerned,” he said. “Our stand is clear: the issue must either be resolved in accordance with UN resolutions or through tripartite negotiations,’ he said. 

“A thinking is about resolving disputes is evolving at the international level, and the revolutions in the Middle East are proof that mass movements cannot be kept suppressed by force and violence for long,” he said. 

“In view of ground realities and the changing situation at the international level, India needs to effect changes in its approach, because policies based on obduracy complicate matters rather than resolving them,” he said. 

“This movement is the Kashmiri people’s own movement, and the peaceful upsurge from 2008 to 2008 is proof that no political process can succeed by ignoring the sentiments and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” he said. 

“Rather than a matter of Indo-Pak relations, the international community views Kashmir  as an issue of peace and stability in the South Asian region, and the need of the hour is  to display political will and take bold decisions in its context,” he said. 

“The Kashmir issue needs to seen as linked to Afghanistan, because, even as the situation in Afghanistan is conditional upon better ties between India and Pakistan, the latter cannot be achieved without resolving the Kashmir issue,” he said. 

“Bilateral talks have always proved a meaningless exercise,” he said. “Shimla, Tashkent and Agra Agreements have failed in relation to resolving the Kashmir issue.” 

The Mirwaiz urged for easing travel procedures across the Line Of Control, saying that identity cards should be deemed sufficient documents rather than the cumbersome permit policy.  

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