May 2007 News

Mirwaiz wants roundtable for separatists

2 May 2007
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: Head of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Wednesday called for a separate roundtable for separatists to push forward the peace process. He rejected the invitation of the National Conference (NC) to contest the elections and instead suggested that the NC and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) boycott the elections till the Kashmir issue was resolved. 'If the National Conference is sincere, and they really love the people of Kashmir, instead of inviting the Hurriyat to contest the elections they should boycott the elections until the Kashmir issue was resolved.' Addressing a public rally in Qazigund in south Kashmir, the Mirwaiz said that New Delhi had offered him privileges, but he did not accept them. He assured the people that there was no secret pact on the resolution of Kashmir but asserted that the peace process between India and Pakistan was going in the right direction. 'But we have found that Pakistan was more sincere in resolving the issue and wants that an amicable, acceptable and durable solution should come up.' The Mirwaiz said that he had made it clear to New Delhi that if it wanted to talk about power in Kashmir it should talk to the NC or the PDP and 'for resolution of Kashmir, the Hurriyat is ready to take part in a serious dialogue process.' He said only the Hurriyat represented the aspirations of the people. 'If Delhi is sincere it should hold a separate roundtable with all separatist parties that too without any pre- conditions and with an open mind.' The recent roundtable, he said, was only meant for those who wanted to be in power.'For separatists, they [the Government of India] should hold a separate roundtable.'


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