Hurriyat (M) begins consultation process ahead of Pak visit

Political Independence Has To Be Woven With Economic Freedom: Mirwaiz

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Nov 20: Stating that political independence was incomplete without economic freedom, the Hurriyat (M) is mulling to form an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to revive the lost status of Jammu and Kashmir as an economically self-reliant state.
The idea cropped up in a feedback meeting of traders’ fraternity with Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at party headquarters, Rajbagh here. Sources privy to the meeting said at least 40 traders participated including those involved in cross LoC trade.
“The traders discussed the importance of being economically sustainable and steps to be taken in this direction. The cross LoC traders termed the trade as a failed CBM,” a trader, who participated in the meeting said, wishing not to be quoted by name.
He said the discussion was fruitful and Hurriyat (M) chairman agreed that there was a dire need on special focus on how J&K could regain its lost glory of being an economic hub and a gateway to Central Asia. The trader said the Hurriyat chairman also faced some harsh questions as one of the traders stated, “Is it that the pro-freedom leadership has now started focusing on potatoes and onions?”
Sources within the Hurriyat (M) said the amalgam was seriously thinking to constitute EAC before Mirwaiz’s visit to Pakistan slated for December 15. “The Hurriyat will discuss segment-wise issues with Pakistan seriously and doesn’t want the visit to be just a photo-session,” said a Hurriyat insider.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the meeting was fruitful as many serious issues regarding the economic stability of Kashmir were deliberated upon. “We have decided to hold Round Table Conferences with the cross section of society before our Pakistan visit,” he said. “We believe Kashmir issue is primarily a political issue but it has an economic dimension as well. We were a self-reliant state in 1947 and now we are totally dependent.”
He said state’s all resources, be water or electricity, have been looted and there was a dire need to “weave the political independence with economic independence.”
He said the Hurriyat (M) will continue deliberations on various issues before its scheduled Pakistan visit. “Our next meeting is with the civil society,” said Mirwaiz.
On whether he has finalized the team of members who would visit Pakistan, he said the final decision will be taken in the Hurriyat’s Executive Council meeting.
He, however, said the Hurriyat (M) continues to stick to its basic stand on Kashmir that the issue be resolved as per the aspirations of people. “There is no change. We will discuss threadbare all issues with Pakistan leadership and see what they are up to,” Mirwaiz said.
Former President, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeel Qalandar, who was present in the meeting said, “I told the meeting that the fresh exercise of the amalgam is a welcome step. I said that there are many offshoots of the bigger problem like human resources, natural resources and bio-diversity. I made it clear that the leaders who intend to talk to any quarter should keep these things in mind while raising the political issue.”
Qalandar said he stressed that Hurriyat (M) should address the “trust deficit” and remove the “misconceptions” it was facing among the masses. “I told the meeting that there is a dire need of evolving an internal and external consensus within the Hurriyat and with the likeminded groups outside the amalgam,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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