April 2007 News

Mirwaiz Ready For Interim 10-year-plan

7 April 2007
The Indian Express

Ganderbal: Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today expressed his readiness to accept an interim 10-year plan for Kashmir as a prelude to a permanent solution. Launching the conglomerate's first-ever mass contact programme to create awareness about Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's four-point proposals on Kashmir, he also announced Hurriyat plans to appoint ground workers and set up district offices across J-K. 'We know Kashmir is a complex problem and a resolution cannot be expected overnight. Hurriyat is ready for an interim arrangement for five to 10 years in pursuit of a permanent settlement,' Mirwaiz said to a crowd of thousand people gathered in a park here. However, he said, a phased demilitarisation could be the first step. Grappling with the reality of mainstream political parties redefining the separatist agenda in the Valley, Mirwaiz sought to highlight subtle distinctions between the PDP's version of demilitarisation and the Hurriyat's own templates of Kashmir's resolution. 'These people are interested in the semantics of separatist slogans rather than the spirit. They are using them as a tool to acquire power,' Mirwaiz said. He explained that the Hurriyat wanted withdrawal of forces as part of the overall settlement package for Kashmir and not as an isolated measure. Mirwaiz also lauded Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin's recent pitch for the militant's involvement in the ongoing dialogue process. 'Separatist parties and militants are the real representatives of Kashmir's struggle for azadi. It is they who deserve to be part of the resolution rather than those who have exploited Kashmiris for half-a-century,' he said. 'We shed blood, we made sacrifices, we went to jail. Not those who are trying to make the best of both worlds by switching over to the separatist bandwagon now for electoral gain,' he added. Choosing Ganderbal as the place for his inaugural address was also a decision of deep political import. Starting with being the favourite constituency of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Ganderbal has determined political fortunes in Kashmir over the past 60 years.


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