New Delhi: Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday pledged to support any initiative taken by India and Pakistan for strengthening their ties but insisted that their engagement will not go anywhere if they ignore Kashmir issue, which it wanted to be resolved within a specified timeframe.
The separatist conglomerate's Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said both the countries should show statesmanship in addressing the Kashmir issue and in this context addressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi specifically, saying he should work for the benefit of the next generation.
He also urged both the countries to show restraint on the Line of Control (LoC), which keeps witnessing exchanges of fire, as common people become the victims.
"In principle, we support the India-Pakistan engagement .... The positive efforts of the two countries need to be supported," he told PTI in an interview here.
The Mirwaiz, who was in Delhi to attend Eid Milan hosted by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit here last evening, was asked how he saw the recent Summit meeting between Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Russia.
"We support any initiative that would strengthen the relations between the two countries. But we do not foresee any future for the engagement unless Kashmir is included in the agenda.... Ignoring Kashmir will not lead India and Pakistan anywhere," Farooq said.
Unhappy over exclusion of Kashmir in the Modi-Sharif talks, the Mirwaiz conveyed Hurriyat's view to Basit here last night after attending his Eid Milan.
Emphasising that Kashmir should have been included as "it is the main issue", he said, "Issues like 26/11, Samjhauta blasts etc are peripheral."
The 42-year-old Mirwaiz of the Valley said Kashmir
should have been included in the agenda of India-Pakistan talks and efforts should be made to resolve it in within a timeframe.
"Both countries should show statesmanship, especially Modi who wants to take India to the next level of development. He should act not only as a politician with an eye on the next elections but as a statesman working for the benefit of the next generation," he said.
He said it was "high time that New Delhi, Islamabad and Srinagar move together for finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue."
With regard to the repeated incidents of exchange of fire on the LoC, Farooq said, "We urge both the countries to show restraint as common people on both sides are suffering and dying. There has been migration also."
He said the two countries should find some mechanism to ensure peace on the borders.
During their meeting, Modi and Sharif had decided that heads of BSF and Pakistan Rangers would meet to see how peace could be maintained on the LoC and International Border.
However, there have been nine incidents of ceasefire violations from across the border during the month of July so far, according to Indian security officials.
A woman, Poli Devi, was killed and six others, including two BSF jawans, were injured on July 15 in firing and mortar shelling in Jammu district by Pakistan Rangers, they said.
Pakistani troops on July 16 pounded a number of places along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region with heavy firing and mortars. The army also foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Poonch district by a group of militants.
BSF officials said Pak Rangers have increased the arch of firing and shelling from Kanachak-Akhnoor sector to RS Pura sector now.