Dig at roots rather than hacking at leaves: Hurriyat to PM

Kashmiri separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference Tuesday remained cool to the latest offer of talks by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist amalgam Hurriyat
Conference Tuesday remained cool to the latest offer of talks by
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying the government should change
its approach and look into the root of the problem in the
border state.

While making it clear that Hurriyat was committed to a
meaningful dialogue with the Centre, the amalgam chairman
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said the outfit was disappointed by the
"circuitous approach" adopted by the Prime Minister while
inviting groups other than mainstream political parties for
talks.

"When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just
hacking at the leaves," Farooq said, citing a famous education
quote.

"We were hoping that there will be a direct offer for
talks rather than taking a circuitous route. Kashmir is a
political problem and we have to find a political solution.
There can be no military solution to the Kashmir issue,"
Mirwaiz said responding to Singh`s fresh offer yesterday
for talks with groups which shun violence.

"We all realise that 60 years have gone by and the
problem is still unaddressed. We have to dig at the roots
instead of just hacking at the leaves," he said, suggesting
that the government should make some headway in implementing a
four-point programme mooted by the amalgam.

The four points suggested by the Hurriyat include a
commitment for upholding the human rights, gradual
demilitarisation and repeal of "black laws".

"Let us accept the fact that Kashmir is a problem and
together India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir have to sit
and resolve the issue... We all have to come together and reach
a solution," he said.

He said while it was good that the Prime Minister has
reached out to Pakistan from the soil of Kashmir but "I feel
that he has not reached out to the people of Kashmir from the
soil of Kashmir. We were expecting that he (Prime Minister)
would be more open in his efforts to reach out to the people
of Kashmir and say yes we need to find a solution to the
Kashmir issue."

In reply to a question whether the amalgam was expecting
a direct offer for talks, he said, "Yes, I was hoping that he
will make a direct offer for talks with Hurriyat Conference."

PTI

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