US should ensure third party assistance for Kashmir: Mirwaiz

The moderate Hurriyat Conference faction on Sunday said economic development cannot be achieved without political stability in the region, which was dependent on the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Last Updated: Nov 07, 2010, 13:53 PM IST

Srinagar: Noting that the visit of US President Barack Obama is focussed on economy, the moderate Hurriyat Conference faction on Sunday said economic development
cannot be achieved without political stability in the region, which was dependent on the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

"There is no doubt that the visit of Obama is focussed on economic development but it cannot be achieved without political stability and resolution of Kashmir issue is imperative for achieving that goal," Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told reporters at his residence.

The Hurriyat chairman, who is under house arrest, briefed the mediapersons about the amalgam`s signature campaign, which began on October 24, seeking US intervention in resolution of the issue.

Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat initiative was not to embarrass India during the high-profile visit of the US President but to highlight the need for third party assistance for resolving
Kashmir as bilateral dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad over the past many decades had failed to make any progress.

"Bilateralism has failed and there is huge trust deficit between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. In this scenario, third party mediation or assistance has become inevitable," he added.

The Mirwaiz expressed surprise that Centre and other political parties in the country take objection to the "mere mention of third party intervention".

"When there are economic disputes (with Pakistan), Government of India approaches World Bank or IMF. Why is there aversion to do the same about political issues?" he asked.

The Hurriyat chairman said the amalgam had collected two lakh signatures in the two-week campaign apart from thousands of signatures collected in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"It is a symbolic initiative ... we do not expect the US President to go through all these documents. I have spoken to US Embassy officials and they have said that necessary action has been initiated after the mission received a large number
of petitions through email and fax," he said.

The Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat did not expect any overnight results but a step-by-step approach for resolution of Kashmir issue.

"The US should appoint a special representative for South Asia if peace and stability is to be achieved in the region," he said, claiming if Kashmir issue was again "put on the
backburner, it can push the youth to revive the armed struggle for achieving their goals".

The Hurriyat chairman lauded the role of Indian civil society, saying, "we have been invited to speak at seminars and workshops for creating awareness about Kashmir issue."

"We will be visiting Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai after the Eid (falling on November 18 or 19) to explain our viewpoint on Kashmir to the people of India," he
said.

PTI