Don’t See Hurriyat as Hurdle in Revival of Friendship: Mirwaiz tells Delhi, Islamabad

Muhammad Raafi

SRINAGAR

Hopeful that Foreign Secretary Level talks will be revived, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (m) chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Thursday said that the separatist leadership was expecting that (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee led initiatives would be taken forward.

Seeking that the process of dialogue between India and Pakistan be fast forwarded, Mirwaiz in an exclusive chat with Kashmir Life asserted that it may not be possible to engage with the separatist leadership at the first. “There has to be a mechanism and for it they have to engage with themselves first,” he said.

The revived Secretary level dialogue between India and Pakistan faced two major setbacks – first when Kashmiri separatists went to meet Pak delegates in New Delhi in early 2015; and second after Pathankote air base was attacked by militants.

India is of the view that Pakistan should avoid meeting separatists when any official dialogue starts, while Pakistan has been adamant that Kashmiris are basic party to dispute.

Following Bangkok held secretary level talks in later part of 2015, the foreign secretaries of nuclear armed neighbours were scheduled to meet in New Delhi but Pathankote attack happened postponing the meet.

“It is not any issue whether we meet (Pak delegates) before or later,” Mirwaiz said, “or Hurriyat leadership be issued Passports as we saw during Vajpayee led union government. India and Kashmiri; Kashmiri and Pakistan also talked and India and Pakistan talked, too. It was a triangular dialogue.”

Mirwaiz while referring to recent United States appeal to resolve Kashmir issue said he thinks if “such a process is revived and a mechanism is formed as how Kashmiris are involved”.

“It is not a border dispute, it is an issue of Kashmiris and across LoC leadership has to be involved.”

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