April 2002 News

Kashmir lawyers moot Indo-Pak summit on J&K

26 April 2002
The Times of India

SRINAGAR: A group of Kashmir lawyers, who returned after attending a seminar in Islamabad last month, conveyed the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistani President Gen Pervez Musharraf for the resolution of the Kashmir issue by a peaceful, political and sustained dialogue between Pakistan and India, with Srinagar as the venue of the summit, according to advocate G N Shaheen.Four lawyers — Shaheen, G N Hagroo, Mohammad Amin Bhat and Mohammad Ashraf Bhat — had visited Pakistan last month to attend the three-day seminar on peace through law, organised by the Pakistan Bar Association at Islamabad between March 29 and 31.According to Shaheen, who is also the chief organiser of the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, there was no hidden political agenda in the lawyers’ visit to Pakistan.The Valley was agog with rumours that the four Kashmir lawyers had gone to Pakistan to convince the militant leaders to end violence in the state. But Shaheen told Times News Network that they were on a purely intellectual mission. He said that Musharraf, who wanted to meet the group, was pleased to know the public opinion prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir about the resolution of the Kashmir tangle. ‘‘We told Musharraf that people here want a resolution through peaceful means,’’ said Shaheen.Shaheen said the lawyers invited Musharraf to the Kashmir valley to summit talks with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to end the stalemate created by political intrigues involved in Indian polity. Forwarding the suggestion to Musharraf, the group said if convenient to both parties, namely India and Pakistan, the real representatives of the people of Kashmir could be involved in the talks.Asked whether the suggestion was conveyed to Vajpayee, Shaheen said ‘‘We decided to seek a broad-based consensus among the J&K people before proposing any political suggestions to the PM.’’Defending the suggestion of holding an Indo-Pak summit here, Shaheen said all the treaties and summits for the resolution of the Kashmir issue had so far failed. He attributed this to the absence of the representatives of the Kashmiri people at such initiatives.


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