April 2002 News

Kashmiri leaders to reach consensus soon: Mirwaiz

21 April 2002
The News International

Dubai: APHC leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq has said the Kashmiri leaders on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) are in the process of developing a consensus on various options, leading to a common front. Mirwaiz Omar Farooq said this at the end of the talks here between the Kashmiri leaders from the two sides of the LoC, the other day. The talks were also attended by the Kashmiri leaders from the United Kingdom, the United State and Canada. Mirwaiz Omar Farooq said that the Dubai talks were aimed at arriving at a united Kashmiri voice on the settlement of the dispute. ''There can be a difference of opinion on an approach to the solution and on various options to get the conflict settled but there can be no difference of opinion on the need for a comprehensive dialogue among all the parties concerned,'' he said. He said that there was a complete unanimity of views among the various Kashmiri leaders and that the talks would soon be held with opinion makers from Jammu and Ladakh as well in order to forge a complete consensus. He stressed flexibility and sincerity of purpose among all the parties to the dispute. He praised President General Pervez Musharraf for his action against the extremists and said that it was now for the politicians to reach a political settlement. He called upon India and Pakistan to resume talks at the earliest as the options for the settlement of the dispute were getting narrower. Sources in held Srinagar said leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone, held meetings with leaders from Azad Jammu and Kashmir in the United Arab Emirates last week. Among them was Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan, who in January was appointed chairman of the Kashmir Committee set up by President general Pervez Musharraf. The meetings of the two executive members of Hurriyat with Sardar Qayoom and other Azad Kashmir leaders are expected to help shape the alliance''s future strategy. Top Hurriyat leaders have maintained silence over the Dubai meeting, but analyst Shaukat Ahmad said the Dubai meeting could help develop a formula that is acceptable to both India and Pakistan. ''There have been meetings in Dubai among Kashimiri leaders from both the sides in the past,'' he said. ''But this is the first one that was not kept a secret.''


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