Include Kashmiris in dialogue: Moderate Hurriyat

Srinagar: Welcoming the resolve of India and Pakistan to continue talks on Kashmir, moderate Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday said the dialogue had to be continuous and and Kashmiris should be included in it to make the process fruitful.

"It is a welcome sign that New Delhi and Islamabad have reiterated their resolve to continue the dialogue.

"However, if it has to be result-oriented, the basic party to the Kashmir issue -- representatives of the people of the state -- have to be included in it," chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umer Farooq told agency.

He said the amalgam had always supported the dialogue process but it had to be sustained and time-bound to achieve the desired goal.

Mirwaiz welcomed the Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) announced by the two countries with regard to cross-Loc trade and travel but stressed the need for implementing the suggestions made by the amalgam for improving the ground situation in Kashmir.

The hardline faction of the Hurriyat, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, however, said CBMs would only be a superficial measure till the core issue of Kashmir was not addressed.

“These are not the main issues. The basic issue is resolution of the Kashmir issue and it needs to be addressed in its historical perspective," Geelani said.

India and Pakistan today announced additional CBMs related to Kashmir, including increasing cross-LoC trading days and expanding travel to include tourism and religious aspects.

This followed talks between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in New Delhi.

"The two sides have agreed to meet again in 2012. The process to resolve the Kashmir issue has to be continuous and time-bound. There should be no slowdown in talks," Mirwaiz said.

"We welcome the CBMs but we believe that focus on demilitarisation, revocation of harsh laws like AFSPA and PSA, end to violation of human rights and release of political prisoners will have larger impact on the ground situation," he said.

"The amalgam reiterates its demand for implementing these suggestions in order to create a conducive atmosphere for resolution of the Kashmir issue," the Hurriyat dove said.