Solution to Kashmir has to be political: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Hurriyat (M) Delegation Leaves For New Delhi, Calls Pak Visit ‘Satisfactory’

NISAR AHMED THOKAR

Islamabad, Dec 26: The seven-member Hurriyat Conference (M) delegation left for New Delhi from Lahore this afternoon after concluding their 10-day visit to Pakistan.
 Talking to Greater Kashmir the Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed satisfaction on the amalgam’s visit to Pakistan. “It has been a satisfactory visit for us as we met the entire political leadership in Pakistan, shared our views with leaders across the board. And I believe this process of interaction on both sides must continue so that we can start a process of moving forward in a proper direction, thereby taking Kashmiris’ viewpoint as well as the ground situation into consideration,” he said.
 In an interview with Greater Kashmir, Mirwaiz said, “So far as the permanent solution of Kashmir dispute is concerned, the Hurriyat (M) believes that it has to be political; it has to be at a level where either you go by international agreements or you start a process what we call as alternative negotiated settlement between India, Pakistan and Kashmiris.”
 He said: “Hurriyat came to Pakistan on the invitation of the government of Pakistan. This has been a long overdue visit as the Hurriyat (M) last visited Pakistan in 2007. We believe that Pakistan is not only an important party to the dispute but an ardent supporter of Kashmir cause at political, diplomatic and international level. So in that context Hurriyat (M) visit to the country should be seen in the context of initiating a process and a mechanism so that we can be able to take this process forward effectively.”
 Mirwaiz said: “We feel that this process we talk about has to be all inclusive.”
 Mirwaiz said, “One important thing that has been the main focus of our visit is that we have been able to put our point across very firmly and very clearly that Kashmiris’ inclusion in the talks process is must for finding a solution to Kashmir dispute. It has been received well. I would say not only the parties which we have met-whether government or opposition-but also at the peoples’ level there is a realization that Kashmir issue is primarily about Kashmir and about the people of Kashmir and then about Pakistan or India for that matter.”
 He said, “Secondly, I believe that there is a huge impact of people’s peaceful struggles across the globe that has also made a huge impact on Kashmir as well.”
 Mirwaiz said, “I think you have to distinguish between Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and a political solution; we believe that CBMs can never be a solution whether it is opening of the trans-LoC bus or trade ties etc. These, I believe, are all positive measures which can have a good impact on ground. But these are not actually solutions. We only feel that the cross LoC CBMs should be strengthened, trade should be opened, people must come and go.”
 Mirwaiz said, “Internal autonomy is not the solution to the problem. It can be a bilateral arrangement between India and Kashmiris and we have seen such agreements happen in 1953 and 1975. We believe that there can be no solution between two parties, India or Pakistan or for that matter between India and the leadership in Kashmir. It has to be among all the three parties India, Pakistan and Kashmiris.”
 He said, “So far as the internal autonomy is concerned, you don’t address the aspect of the other side of Kashmir whether it is Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Gilgit Baltistan. We believe that we have to seek a solution that is inclusive.”
 Umar said “In the context of any solution, we believe that there are four important centers around which a solution will emerge, which are Srinagar, Muzaffarabad, Islamabad and New Delhi. So you have to have all the four elements on board to bring about a peaceful solution of Kashmir imbroglio.”
 He said: “Hurriyat has never been against positive and constructive dialogue but the problem is primarily with the government of India. It is not that Hurriyat (M) had not taken any initiative; we have a very clear stance so far as the meaningful and result-oriented dialogue is concerned. We have had many rounds of talks with Indian government way back in 2006 and 2007 and we met with Indian premier also. Obviously we believe in dialogue, believe in negotiations but the bigger question is dialogue for what? We believe that dialogue has to be for finding a resolution of the problem. And for that matter conducive atmosphere has to be generated on the ground. Because, dialogue and killings cannot go together; dialogue and violence can’t go together, you know you have situation in Kashmir where restrictions are being imposed on the leadership, and you have people who have been languishing in jails over the years, you have a situation where draconian laws like AFSAPA is still in action.”
 Mirwaiz said, “You have situation where government of India accepts the fact that yes the violence has gone down but not a single soldier has been taken out from Kashmir. I think first of all government of India has to create a conducive atmosphere for any dialogue to start.”
 On Unity among leadership, Mirwaiz said: “Well there is no denying in the fact that unity is important, it gives us strength but as far as the ultimate goal is concerned all the pro-freedom parties in Kashmir believe in self-determination. We all believe that Kashmiris should be given their right to decide their future and at the same time we believe that the state of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed on 1947 is a disputed territory. And I think there are maximum points we all agree upon. However there are certain points on which we disagree but the disagreement is only in terms of a mechanism in the sense that how to move forward.”
 He said, “Secondly in any people’s movement you will have differences of opinion but that does not mean that there is a sort of desperate situation on the ground. I believe all the pro movement leadership is fighting for the same cause. Even with our difference we have time and again shown that we can move further as you know we have had common minimum programs in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.”
 He said, “So I think it should not be used as stick to beat the Hurriyat (M) as far as the unity is concerned. And one more important thing is that it is a democratic movement and differences are part of any democratic process.”
 On ‘way forward’ on Kashmir, Mirwaiz said: “I believe that the first step should be demilitarization and demilitarization has to start because that is the biggest irritant we have on the ground and it has to be on both sides. When India starts demilitarization Pakistan will have to reciprocate accordingly.”
 Led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the delegation comprised of senior APHC (M) leader and the former chairman of the amalgam Professor Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Ghani Lone, Abass Ansari, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Syed Ahgha Hassan-al-Moosavi and Muhammad Musadiq Aadil.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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