October 2002 News

CMP a positive start: Mirwaiz

28 October 2002
The Asian Age

New Delhi: APHC leader Mirwaiz Maulvi Omar Farooq, expressing cautious optimism about the common minimum program adopted by the new government in Jammu and Kashmir, said that unlike the NC, it appeared that the PDP- Congress coalition ''will not sabotage the peace process.'' Speaking to The Asian Age from Srinagar, the mirwaiz said that if the CMP was adhered to by the state government it would be a ''positive beginning.'' The program provides for talks with all elected representatives, separatists and others who had not participated in the elections. The mirwaiz, however, made it clear that a good governance was separate from a final settlement of the Kashmir issue. He said that the main issue had still to be settled, and was hopeful that the Government of India ''will see reason'' and begin talks with Pakistan soon. When it was pointed out that Delhi did not appear inclined to sit across the negotiating table at this moment, he said he expected matters to move ahead within three months. ''The two governments will have to talk,'' he said adding that the peace negotiations could not be delayed indefinitely. The Hurriyat leader, despite his earlier scepticism about the elections that were boycotted by his conglomerate, said that ''whosoever addresses the issues in the right perspective will get support.'' He was appreciative of the PDP stand favouring talks with Pakistan. He said that chief minister designate Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had got an important opportunity to practise the healing touch that he had spoken of. He said that the leaders of both groups have a good idea of the realities on the ground ''and if they go along with the CMP it should mark a good beginning.''


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