APHC leaders pitch for ‘comprehensive mechanism’ to address K-issue

NISAR AHMED THOKAR

Islamabad, Dec 19: The visiting delegates of the All Parities Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Wednesday urged the governments of India and Pakistan to “evolve a comprehensive mechanism” to make Kashmiris a part of the ongoing dialogue process between the two countries.
The APHC leaders said this while addressing a function organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies at Islamabad.
The Institute had organized the event as part of the lecture series titled “Prospects of Resolving the Kashmir Dispute: Views from APHC.” The event was attended by former diplomats, intellectuals, journalists, writers and members of civil society including Dr. Maleehah Lodi, former ambassadors Riyaz Ahmed Khan, Akram Zaki, former Director General of the ISI Asad Durani and others.
Welcoming the Hurriyat delegates, the Director General ISS, Ambassador (retd) Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, said Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest disputes on the UN agenda. “Besides Indian refusal to make a meaningful effort to resolve this issue, Pakistan has also made number of mistakes,” he said adding, “These mistakes however cannot diminish the importance of the Kashmir issue. This issue is not about a piece of land but about the basic right of millions of Kashmiris.”
Addressing the gathering, the Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said it was very important to determine the context of the Kashmir issue.
He said: “Although the issue is bilateral in nature, the aspirations of the Kashmiri people should also be taken into account. There can be no solution to this problem without taking the Kashmiri people on board.”
He expressed his concern that the Government of India has been “hoodwinking” the world opinion by projecting that Kashmir issue could be settled internally by improving governance in the region.
He said on the other side the Government of India is “maneuvering the situation in such a way that pro-freedom leadership is not able to connect to the masses.” “Things have changed and the Kashmir struggle is being fought at different levels and it has indeed different dimensions. Kashmiris however will have to strengthen the movement on political and grassroots level.”
He said that Pakistan acknowledges that Kashmiris have to be a part of negotiations but it is unclear as to which party would be allowed to come to table.
He said that there was no mechanism as how to engage Kashmiris in the negotiation process.
Mirwaiz stressed the need for developing a mechanism and a clear policy to make a positive headway on the issue.
Mirwaiz welcomed the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan but also said that unless the core issue of Kashmir is resolved, the talks on other problems like Siachen, Sir Creek would not bear any fruits. He said it was high time for India to come forward with a positive approach and take some Kashmir-centric initiatives.
Referring to the APHC leaders’ meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, he said way back in 2006 the APHC leaders suggested to the Indian government to revoke laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act and make reduction of troops in Kashmir to create a congenial atmosphere for the talks. “Pakistan should have put its weight behind the APHC demands but unfortunately it could not be materialized,” he said
Replying to a query, Mirwaiz said that there was a complete consensus amongst the leadership in Kashmir that the dispute should be resolved through peaceful means.
Senior Hurriyat (M) leader Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat said: “A number of changes are taking place in the world which makes the prospects of the resolution of this dispute bright.” “I can closely see an economic consensus evolving in India which in the ultimate analysis will transform into a political consensus.”
He said that Kashmir does not only comprise mountains, rivers and beautiful gardens but was a blend of sentiment, alienation, uncertainty and turmoil that lies deep in the hearts and souls of people. He said, “You can never win a war against turmoil whether you are a nuclear country or not. The anger, alienation, uncertainty and above all the memories of collective discontent are more powerful than the atomic arsenals with India or with Pakistan.”
He said, “Kashmiris seek a settlement, a permanent and lasting settlement of the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir in the larger interests of the security, stability and peace not in Kashmir, not in Pakistan but in the entire South Asian region.”
Bilal Ghani Lone also spoke on the occasion.
Meanwhile, APHC leaders had a meeting with Mian Manzoor Ahmed Watto, the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan. The meeting was also attended by senior minister of the Government of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and members of Kashmir Council.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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