`Partial AFSPA withdrawal will not improve Kashmir situation`

Last Updated: Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 15:15

Srinagar: Asking the Centre to change its Kashmir policy, moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Saturday said "half-hearted steps" like partial withdrawal
of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would not help in improving the situation in the Valley.

In his Eid-ul-Fitr sermon at Eidgah in the interior city, he said economic and job packages are not a solution to the Kashmir issue as the people of the state have given
sacrifices for the "right to self determination".

"The time for taking half-hearted steps like partial withdrawal of AFSPA has gone. Now the talks should focus on the bigger issue," he said, adding the ongoing "movement" was
not against the people of India, any religion or region.

Urging the authorities at the Centre to stop looking at Kashmir "through the Pakistani prism", he said the ongoing "agitation" in the Valley was indigenous.

"They (Centre) have been misleading their people by telling them that the agitation is instigated by Pakistan. Time has come to realise the ground situation and inform the
people accordingly," he said.

The Hurriyat chairman said the Centre should change its policy with regard to Kashmir issue and inform the people of India about the "disputed nature" of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Government of India should tell the people of India that (first Prime Minister of the country) Jawahar Lal Nehru had taken the Kashmir issue to the United Nations and promised right to self determination to the people of J&K for deciding their future," he said.

The Mirwaiz said the Civil society members including Swami Agnivesh and former Navy Chief Admiral (retd) Ram Das, who visited Kashmir recently, have acknowledged that Kashmir is a political issue and needs a political resolution.

The Hurriyat Chairman said the time has come to start a decisive dialogue process between India, Pakistan and "genuine" leadership of Jammu and Kashmir for resolving
Kashmir issue.

"The talks have to be Kashmir centric as previous dialogues have not focused on this issue and hence did not yield anything," he said.

Mirwaiz later called for a march to Lal Chowk, urging the people to stage a peaceful sit in for half an hour.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 15:15

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