September 2005 News

Mirwaiz Demands OIC Membership

24 September 2005
The Nation

Lahore: All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has demanded full membership to Kashmiris in the Organisation of Islamic Countries, reports a private TV channel. While addressing OIC foreign ministers' meeting here, he thanked Islamic countries for promoting Kashmir cause and said it was right time to give complete membership to Kashmiris in the OIC. Talking to the channel after the meeting, he said Kashmiris were now fully involved in Kashmir talks and India had also admitted the importance of Kashmiris in the dialogue process. According to an report, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and moderate Hurriyat faction will hold their second round of talks next month. The Hardline faction of Geelani has split giving a new twist to the peace efforts. Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who is currently away in New York, where he had a meeting with President Musharraf and attended OIC meeting as an observer, will return home on October 6. The talks with him will be held immediately after his arrival and the government has started doing groundwork, official sources said here. At this meeting, it is expected that a core group comprising selected seniors from both sides will be set up even as the Hurriyat will come up with some concrete proposals for government consideration on the roadmap for Kashmir solution. Hurriyat has been insisting that an acceptable and sustainable solution to the Kashmir issue could only be derived from a trilateral dialogue. 'Kashmir is a trilateral issue and the involvement of India, Pakistan and the people of the state is necessary for a permanent and peaceful solution,' Mirwaiz says. 'We hope that the dialogue process between India and Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir and also between Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir continues,' he adds. Any viable roadmap for the resolution of the Kashmir issue must be a win-win situation for all parties concerned - India, Pakistan and the people of the Kashmir, according to him. The first round of talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a five- member APHC delegation led by Mirwaiz was held on September 5 for three hours. Manmohan agreed to the time-bound review of cases of those held under the Public Safety Act and POTA. He also promised a troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir if violence and infiltration ended, saying that the Indian government would not tolerate the violation of human dignity.


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