Mirwaiz questions political opportunism over Kashmiri separatist leaders meeting Pak envoy
The chairman of the moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, today felt that the hue and cry being raised by political parties over leaders like him meeting Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit is a clear case of political opportunism. He instead sought an end to the politcisation of the Kashmir issue.
Speaking to reporters before heading for New Delhi, Mirwaiz said, "I think it is very unfortunate, the reaction we have seen from the Congress and from some other parties. I must say this is the height of political opportunism and double standards that you are merely opposing a move because you are in the opposition...I believe it is high time that there should be no politicking on Kashmir. Sixty-five years have gone by and we have not been able to find a solution to this problem. Whether it is the BJP, the Congress or any other party for that matter that comes to power in India, or for that matter in Pakistan, the reality is that the Kashmir problem has to be addressed politically."
Mirwaiz said that Hurriyat wants to contribute politically in terms of finding a solution to the Kashmir problem.
"Our focus is on the fact that Kashmir is a political problem. Hurriyat wants to contribute politically in terms of finding a solution to the Kashmir problem. We believe that India and Pakistan have to do the talking. They have to initiate a series of initiatives and steps in order to build the momentum to address the trust deficit. In that context, our meeting should be perceived as a positive thing. I do not see why every time the Hurriyat is in Delhi, it becomes a issue and a cause of concern. We want to be a bridge of friendship between the two countries, but for that we have always maintained that New Delhi and Islamabad will have to engage with the leadership of Kashmir," he added.
"Now that the dialogue process has been formalized. We saw the fact that meeting of the prime ministers took place when Modi was sworn in. It was a good gesture for Pakistan that they came. So, Hurriyat would be putting forward its views. It's high time that India and Pakistan should do the talking and I think this consultation is the very essence of any political dialogue. If you do not do the talking then there is killings, violence, issues. Hurriyat is going with a very positive mindset, and we will be focusing primarily on the political side of the Kashmir conflict. Issues like cross LoC trade, people-to-people contact, issues like demilitarization, removal of AFSPA. These are the issues which we believe that are very close to the hearts and minds of Kashmir. I must say New Delhi has to take the political initiatives," he further added.
Reiterating that Kashmir is a political problem, he expressed hope that the present government in New Delhi would revisit Vajpayee's Kashmir policy.
"We saw recently the Indian prime minister visit Kashmir twice, but unfortunately he did not refer to the political side of the problem. Trains, air-services, power-projects are all fine. But Kashmir problem is not about economic initiatives, or lack of economic initiatives, or governance or for that matter security problem, it is a political problem. We hope that the policy of Vajpayee will be revisited by the present dispensation where he talked about the fact the we have to engage with each other; he talked to talk with the ambit of humanity; shedding the beaten track. So, we hope this kind of move is generated and taken by New Delhi, so that all the parties (India-Pakistan-Kashmiris) can be involved in the process of finding a solution to the long-standing problem," he said.
The Pakistan High Commissioner to India has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders for talks ahead of the Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan on the 25th of this month.
The Kashmir separatists will be holding talks with the Pakistan high commissioner for the first time after Narendra Modi government assumed office.
(Posted on 18-08-2014)
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