February 2006 News

Mirwaiz calls for Kashmir regions’ talks

2 February 2006
The Dawn

New Delhi: Chief of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday called for urgent consultations between regions of Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control to plan a common strategy for resolving the dispute. The Mirwaiz was addressing a 20,000-strong rally in Jammu. Participants of the rally included a large number of Hindu supporters. The statement came a day after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he would be happy to meet him again and other resistance leaders again. The two had met in September last year. A Hurriyat statement said the programme for the Mirwaiz to visit Jammu was fixed much before Dr Singh’s press conference on Wednesday. The statement quoted the Mirwaiz as urging the people of Jammu, Ladakh and the Valley as well as residents of the Azad Kashmir to come together to find a durable solution to the Kashmir dispute. The statement appeared to be in response to President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s proposal to regard the issue of Kashmir as a sum of different parts of the region. “This is also time for India and Pakistan to intensify their talks with the invovlement of the Kashmiri people,” the Mirwaiz appealed. The rally addressed by Mirwaiz coincided with an announcement in New Delhi that Prime Minister Singh would meet JKLF Chief Yasin Malik and other Kashmiri leaders in the future. “It is possible that the Prime Minister will meet Malik and other leaders whom he has not yet met as the Prime Minister in the future,” Indian PM’s media advisor Sanjaya Baru was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying. He was said to be “clarifying” the response of the Prime Minister to a question at the national press conference on Wednesday as to his meetings with various leaders from Kashmir. The Prime Minister had mentioned various names including that of Yasin Malik.


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