Mirwaiz expects framework for settlement this year
2 April 2006
Rawalpindi: A framework for solution of Kashmir issue was expected by the end of this year, said All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday. He was talking to journalists after the inauguration of the office of the All Jammu and Kashmir Awami Action Committee here. The Kashmiri leader said the implementation of the framework could, however, take much longer. “Nevertheless, it is going to be a big step forward.” Supporting (Pakistani) proposals for the solution of the Kashmir issue, the APHC chairman said India should be kept engaged and should not be allowed to run away from the negotiating table. “It is going to be in India’s interest to keep the issue pending for another five decades,” he said and, referring to the proposals, added nobody was deviating from the principled and longstanding stand on the issue. He said the confidence building measures on Kashmir should be coming from both Pakistan and India and should not only aim at improving the situation in the occupied valley but should also target the actual solution of the problem. Mr Farooq said he was optimistic about the situation. “It is for the first time Kashmiris are being recognised as a party to the problem,” he said and added that although still there was not a full involvement of the Kashmiris in the peace process, but people have now at least started talking to them. This, he said, was a big development.