Hurriyat Conference (M) delegation headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq concluded its 7 day official visit to Pakistan on Saturday, however, the delegation would be leaving for New Delhi a few days later.
At the end of the visit, Mirwaiz along with his visiting executive members addressed a press conference at Lahore on Saturday, where he said that the delegation insisted for the inclusion of Kashmiri leadership in the dialogue process. “We are the basic and primary party to the dispute, therefore our participation in the dialogue process is inevitable”, Mirwaiz said. He added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered immensely and wanted a permanent settlement of the Issue.
Meanwhile replying to a question regarding water sharing, senior executive member Bilal Gani Lone said, India and Pakistan signed Indus water treaty without taking Kashmiris into confidence, though they had the property rights on the water sources. “You did not ask us before signing the treaty, why are now you asking us about it.” Bilal said.
The delegation earlier met former Pak Prime Minster Mian Nawaz Shareef at Lahore. Shareef appreciated Hurriyat delegation visit and said that such initiatives should have been taken much earlier. “This visit should have taken place much earlier, but still this is a welcome step”, said Nawaz Sharief who invited the visiting delegation again to Pakistan after the elections are over in March 2013. Shareef insisted that the process should not stop and the Kashmiris should be included in the dialogue process.
The delegation later met with Pakistan Jamat e Islami chief Syed Munawar Hussain, his deputy Liyaqat Ali Balooch and other top leadership and appraised them about the prevailing situation in Kashmir.
Sources in the Hurriyat told KNS that during their more than 90 minute long meeting, Hussain while pressing for the unification of the separatist leadership said that it was for the benefit of Kashmiris that a joint forum of separatist camp visited Pakistan.”We appreciate your dedication and commitment to the cause, but it would have been great to see other separatist leaders as part of the delegation”, Ameer e Jamat is understood to have told the delegation. Jammat leaders assured the Kashmiri leadership of every possible help and said that their stand on the issue was unchanged.
”Our Policy is clear that Kashmiris should get the right of self determination.” Jamat leaders are believed to have told the delegation. They also said that the Kashmir issue was in the manifesto of their party and urged Pakistan government to link the grant of MFN status to India with the resolution of Kashmir issue.
Earlier before flying to Lahore, the delegation visited the National Defense University (NDU) at Islamabad in the morning after which they offered Friday prayers at the historical ‘Faisal Masjid’ in the afternoon.
At NDU, Mirwaiz while reiterating his demand for tripartite dialogue said that Kashmir was not a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and the inclusion of Kashmiris as the basic party of the dispute was inevitable.
Addressing the Pakistan Army officers and graduates, Mirwaiz said, “ Kashmiris have been the worst suffers of the conflict and we demand that India and Pakistan should initiate serious dialogue along with the genuine leadership of Kashmir for the settlement of the dispute.”
He argued that there was a shift in the mode of resistance in Kashmir from 2008, where lakhs of people were coming on the streets with no gun or bombs in their hands, but still they were being fired upon. The address was followed by closed door question answer session that lasted for almost 50 minutes.