Srinagar: The moderate separatist group in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday urged the top political brass of India and Pakistan to ensure that "rabble-rousers" in both countries are not allowed to vitiate the "atmosphere of peace" emerging after the recent thaw in Indo-Pak relations.
The Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq hoped that the leadership in both the countries will carry forward the peace process in a "bold way" and resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir. It also said that it would not shy away from talks with the government, adding that any dialogue should be "with an open mind and heart".
Keenly watching the developments, Mirwaiz Farooq, who is also a Muslim religious head, feels that the Friday meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Lahore has given a fresh hope not only to people of the two nations but to the entire South Asian region.
"I only hope that the process, which has been initiated after many speed breakers, gains momentum and both nations sit together and find solutions to all the outstanding issues including Kashmir by involving the Kashmiri people," the Mirwaiz told PTI here.
He, however, expressed apprehension that radical elements, who are inimical to peace in the region, would try and make desperate attempts to sabotage the peace process.
"Both the Prime Ministers are democratically elected and have a strong mandate in their respective countries. If they are to carry forward a peace process and take historical steps, it is important that the process has broad support from the political opposition and general public in both countries.
"Any party or group that stands in the way of attempts to achieve peace are enemies of the people of South Asia. The leadership in India and Pakistan should invite and involve all the stakeholders - especially the people of Kashmir - to contribute and be a part of this process.
"The rabble-rousers should be reined in so that issues can be addressed and peace becomes the order of the day in the South Asian region," he said.