Hurriyat delegation ask India, Pak to fully open LoC
Islamabad: All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday called on the leadership of India and Pakistan to fully open the Line of Control for travel and trade to give impetus to the peace process.
The limited opening of the LoC for some trade routes and cross-border bus services was not enough, he told reporters during an interaction in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
"Limited movement of people and goods is not enough, it should be opened for Kashmiris so that they can move across freely to boost the peace process," Farooq said.
He also called for including the Kashmiris in the peace process, saying the Kashmir issue was not a matter between just India and Pakistan.
"No solution without the involvement of Kashmiris will be acceptable to us as we are an important party in the Kashmir dispute," he said.
Farooq, a leader of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, arrived in Pakistan yesterday with a seven-member delegation.
The team is visiting at the invitation of the Pakistan government.
The delegation today met leaders from PoK for consultations on the dragging Kashmir issue and talks on the matter between India and Pakistan.
It also briefed the leaders on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and discussed options for the inclusion of Kashmiris in the bilateral dialogue process.
Besides Farooq, other members of the delegation include Abdul Ghani Butt, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi, Maulana Abbas Ansari, Bilal Ghani Lone and Musadiq Aadil.
Shortly after the delegation arrived in Lahore yesterday, Farooq described the Kashmir issue as a "trilateral" matter and not a "bilateral dispute" between India and Pakistan.
Talking to reporters, he said: "The Kashmir dispute requires the attention of the international community (at a time) when other international disputes are progressing towards solution."
The purpose of the delegation's visit is to add momentum to efforts for the settlement of the Kashmir dispute, Farooq said.
Pakistan had played a "positive role" in the Kashmir issue and it always extended moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris, he added.
While appreciating the resumption of the dialogue between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, Farooq contended that Delhi should "change its stance on Kashmir".
During its stay in Pakistan, the delegation is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Kashmir Affairs Minister Manzoor Wattoo, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan and other leaders.