India, Pakistan should start talks at PM level: Mirwaiz

Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Thursday said India and Pakistan should start talks at the Prime Ministerial level and assured full support of his amalgam in finding an everlasting solution to the Kashmir issue.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 19, 2015, 22:45 PM IST

Srinagar: Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Thursday said India and Pakistan should start talks at the Prime Ministerial level and assured full support of his amalgam in finding an everlasting solution to the Kashmir issue.

"We welcome the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan and want formal resumption of the dialogue between them for peace and stability in the region," the Mirwaiz told reporters after a meeting of the amalgam here.

"We also desire that the talks be taken forward to the political level, especially at the Prime Ministerial level and want to assure both the governments that Hurriyat will extend its full support in finding an everlasting solution to the Kashmir issue," the Mirwaiz said.

The meeting, attended by leaders of Executive Council, General council and Working Committee, was convened by Mirwaiz to discuss various issues like formation of the government in the state, prevailing political situation in the backdrop of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar's visit to Pakistan early this month and an invitation by Pakistan High Commissioner to the amalgam leadership in connection with Pakistan day celebrations on March 23.

He said Hurriyat welcomes the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan but the process cannot be complete unless Kashmiris are connected with it.

Referring to the formation of PDP-BJP government in the state, Mirwaiz said "Kashmir is not an administrative issue and cannot be solved with the formation of a government. It is a political issue and needs political solution."

He said Hurriyat hopes that the leadership of India and Pakistan will initiate a process and speed up the dialogue by involving the people of Kashmir to resolve the issue.

"Kashmiris cannot be sidelined like drum driven cattle. India and Pakistan had held talks since 1947 but the dialogue failed to resolve Kashmir despite a series of agreements like Shimla, Tashkent, Lahore and Agra," he said.

Mirwaiz expressed hope that the Centre would revisit former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's policy and demonstrate its seriousness by taking such steps which would help create an atmosphere conducive to dialogue.

"We have suggested measures like revocation of AFSPA, release of political prisoners, strengthening of people to people contact between the two parts of Kashmir and opening of more cross-Loc routes for creation of a conducive atmosphere for dialogue to succeed," he said.

He said it was not fair to wait for the last gun to fall silent before moving ahead on the Kashmir issue.

"...The violence level has dropped and you need to initiate a political dialogue without waiting for the last gun to fall silent for resolving Kashmir issue," he said.