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APHC seeks dialogue with Centre
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 22
Describing the recent visit of the APHC delegation to PoK and Pakistan as an “important first step”, chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, here today sought initiation of a dialogue with the Central Government for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. He held that the Hurriyat Conference was “more than satisfied” with the visit and the time was approaching for the resolution of the issue as it had entered an “important phase”.

Mirwaiz was talking to newspersons at the party headquarters at the end of a three-hour meeting of the APHC constituents this afternoon. The APHC favours an intra-Kashmir dialogue as bilateral talks and pacts between India and Pakistan did not help resolve the issue.

A five-member APHC delegation comprising Mirwaiz, Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulvi Abbas Ansari, Bilal Lone and Fazal-ul-Haq Qureshi, and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik, besides Mohammad Abdullah Tari of Shabir Shah’s Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), visited Pakistan from June 2 to June 16.

“We want to extend the spectrum of talks... the onus is on all, even upon us”, Mirwaiz said in reply to a question about the initiation of talks with the Government of India. “The Government of India has to decide... let them decide and inform us”, he said, adding that the APHC wanted an “immediate initiation of dialogue”. He said this had already been conveyed to the government, with which it was having an informal contact, adding that the APHC favoured to take the process forward.

It had already two rounds of talks with the NDA government and could not initiate it with the UPA government since it took over last year, for the APHC sought the Pakistan visit prior to any further talks.

Referring to the role of Kashmiris, Mirwaiz said it was for the first time that their role was “well defined” and added “the involvement of Kashmiris started formally”. Pointing towards the complexity of the Kashmir issue, he said it needed gradual steps in the right direction and held that the Centre had a “greater responsibility to contribute”. The APHC was for taking the process forward with a positive approach and the contribution of the people of Kashmir, he said. There was optimism over the continuation of the dialogue process, he commented, hoping that India and Pakistan took the people of Kashmir along.

A significant development, according to the APHC chairman, was also in the making as the European Union chapter of the Pakistan Peoples Party had proposed a meeting with the Kashmiri leaders outside Jammu and Kashmir in August. He said several leaders favoured talks at different levels in a period of two to three months. He added this was necessary for the intra-Kashmir dialogue process, even as the inter-Kashmir dialogue process was also being worked out.

It would hold talks with the people of other regions of the state, he said in reply to a question, and added that the APHC leaders had talks with two delegations from Gilgit and Baltistan during their recent Pak visit.

Commenting on the talks with leaders in PoK and Pakistan, Moulvi Umar Farooq said all of them extended support to the Hurriyat Conference. The people and leadership in PoK wanted the restoration of the integrity of Jammu and Kashmir for it was a “human problem”. He added that there was need for a formal solution without any division of Jammu and Kashmir.

“There is an unconditional support to the APHC for a political solution of the Kashmir issue and therefore, it is an important development”, Mirwaiz said.

As per a UNI report, Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat had invited political and separatist leadership of PoK to visit and assess the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

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