September 2004 News

Dialogue has no impact on situation, says Mirwaiz

5 September 2004
The Dawn

New Delhi: Former chairman of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Sunday met with Foreign Minister Khurshid M. Kasuri to urge the greater involvement of Kashmiris in the ongoing India- Pakistan peace dialogue. Mr Farooq, a moderate Kashmiri leader, told Mr Kasuri that discussion on the Kashmir dispute could only make headway if Kashmiris were involved. 'It is a positive development that Pakistan-India dialogue is going on,' he said. 'But we feel nothing is having an impact on the ground situation on Kashmir.' 'We told him (Mr Kasuri) we feel that the governments of Pakistan and India need to adapt a step-by-step approach in the Kashmir issue,' Mr Farooq said. 'You (Pakistan) and India have been talking since 1947, but all your agreements have failed because the main party has never been taken into confidence,' Mr Farooq told Mr Kasuri during a two-and-a-half hour meeting, he said. Mr Farooq said Mr Kasuri had assured him the 'time has come that the people of Kashmir should be involved.' Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh and Kasuri held their first ministerial meeting in three years in New Delhi on Sunday. Mr Farooq also urged the governments of India and Pakistan to allow people living in the divided Kashmir to have a dialogue among themselves about the peace process.


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