Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz for 'bold' Indo-Pak peace talks, wants "rabble rousers" reined in
With growing warmth in Indo-Pakistan ties, the moderate Hurriyat faction on Sunday urged the leadership in the two countries to take forward the peace process in a "bold way" and resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir, while reining in the "rabble rousers".
Srinagar: With growing warmth in Indo-Pakistan ties, the moderate Hurriyat faction on Sunday urged the leadership in the two countries to take forward the peace process in a "bold way" and resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir, while reining in the "rabble rousers".
The separatist conglomerate headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also wants Kashmiri people to be part of the efforts at conflict resolution in the restive border state where it apprehends radical elements would try 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 historic 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," Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told PTI.
Farooq, who is keenly watching the developments following the recent thaw in India-Pakistan's relations, however, cautioned against disruption of the peace process by forces inimical to it and wants them to be kept on a tight leash.
"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.
The proximity of Hurriyat leaders to Pakistani leadership has been an irritant in the ties between the two neighbours.
After having called off National Security Advisor-level talks with Pakistan in August to prevent the Hurriyat leaders from meeting the then NSA of that country Sartaj Aziz, India is now likely to send Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to Islamabad for a dialogue with his counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary next month, reportedly in order to keep Hurriyat factions out of the discussions.
Since Pakistan views the Hurriyat as true representative of Kashmiri people, it would have been difficult for Chaudhary to have come to India and not confabulated with them.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sent Jaishankar to Islamabad in March as part of a 'Saarc yatra' and it was the turn of Pakistan's Foreign Secretary to visit India.
However, Farooq, while pitching for involvement of Kashmiri people and political groups in finding lasting peace, said, "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."
"We held talks with the then Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh as well as Pervez Musharf and even gave some suggestions in order to move forward. Hurriyat would not shy away from any serious process aimed at resolving the Kashmir issue involving all stakeholders," he said.