Tarigami to attend Pugwash meet in Pakistan
7 March 2006
Jammu: Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary M.Y. Tarigami was granted visa on Tuesday to visit Pakistan to attend a conference on Kashmir being organised by an international NGO, Pugwash, later this week. Several others are on way to attend the conference. Mr. Tarigami is among many who have been invited to attend the conference, which is part of a consultation process initiated by the NGO to help evolve a consensus on Kashmir. The event has assumed importance in the backdrop of an invitation to a number of mainstream political leaders such as National Conference president Omar Abdullah, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and State Minister for Consumer Affairs Hakim Mohammad Yasin. Mr. Abdullah has already announced that he will be going to Islamabad and even meeting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. However, Ms. Mehbooba has decided not to attend the conference and will be represented by senior PDP leader and Shia cleric Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari. Chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is also not attending the conference after as he is indisposed. Some other Hurriyat leaders are likely to attend; former chairman Abdul Gani Bhat, who is now in Pakistan, may attend; the hard line Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Geelani, has applied for travel documents to visit Islamabad but is yet to get them. JKLF leader Yasin Malik has left Srinagar for Delhi on way to Islamabad while People's Democratic Front chairman and State Minister Hakim Mohammad Yasin is leaving on Wednesday. 'We will talk on behalf of the people and put forth our views vis-à-vis a resolution of the Kashmir problem,' Mr. Yasin said. Mr. Tarigami said he was going with an open mind on a resolution of the problem. Talking to The Hindu , he said: 'We hope that this intellectual exploration by the experts and activists to share a concern for humanity will try to seek a common ground for a breakthrough to the problems which have been sources of tension and conflict in the region ... I firmly believe it will be tragic if these two countries will not work towards some form of cooperation for peace in the region ... we, the people of Kashmir, have been chief victims of hostility and would like a common ground created for forward movement to ensure genuine peace in the region.'