Engage with Centre: Soz tells Hurriyat (M)

MUDDASIR ALI

Srinagar, Dec 29: State Congress on Saturday asked Hurriyat Conference leaders to engage with New Delhi for resolution of Kashmir issue.
“Hurriyat Conference (M) leaders have earlier engaged with the Prime Minister and they should again revive the dialogue process with the center,” Pradesh Congress chief Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz told media persons on the sidelines of a party function here.
Soz said dialogue was the only way to resolve Kashmir. He said the separatists were leaders in their own right and they have an opinion on Kashmir.
“The dialogue is already going on and Hurriyat should become a part of it,” Soz said.
Pertinently, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led a seven member delegation of the conglomerate to Pakistan earlier this month and during the team’s 10-day stay in the neighboring country they met with almost everybody from government and opposition.
On his return Mirwaiz Friday asked India to “shun its military approach and show flexibility” on Kashmir, saying Pakistan supports Kashmir resolution “without the condition of J&K’s merger with that country”.
On dialogue process with New Delhi, Mirwaiz, however, said Hurriyat had in 2006 put some preconditions for re-engaging with New Delhi, “which are yet to be fulfilled.”
“The Government of India’s doors are always open for them (separatists) for the talks. They should come forward,” Soz said.
ON BDC POLLS
Soz said Congress was finalizing its recommendations on incorporation of 73rd amendment of the Indian constitution in J&K Panchayat Act ahead of the Block Development Council (BDC) polls.
“We will put them before the coalition partners and are hopeful these will be accepted,” Soz said.
He acknowledged the BDC polls got delayed in the JK after constitution of the Panchayats in April 2011.
“It is true that BDC polls are overdue but the process is on,” he said.
The state government was forced by Congress to defer BDC polls for inclusion of the 73rd amendment in the state Act. Reservation for women, SC/ST in BDCs is among the others demands of the Congress.
ON LoC TRADE
Soz demanded India and Pakistan should allow use of currency for LoC trade instead of continuing with the present barter system. “The barter system should end,” he said.
The state Congress chief said during his meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Friday he took up the issue of opening of all the traditional routes between two parts of Kashmir and other roads which connect the state with Central Asia.
He said as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM) New Delhi and Islamabad should allow joint tourism projects in divided parts of Kashmir. “The cross-LoC trade and travel should be meaningful,” he said.
Earlier, Soz welcomed some new faces including some youth from Srinagar into the party. He said AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi would be invited to the proposed Youth Convention to be organized by the party in Srinagar during March 2013.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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