Mirwaiz: poll no substitute to resolution

21 March 2008
The Hindu

Srinagar: Chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday declared that elections were not a substitute to the resolution of Kashmir issue. On his return from his two-month-long foreign visit, the Mirwaiz told a Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid that his party would launch a sustained diplomatic initiative to highlight the Kashmir issue at the international level. This issue was already among the priorities at the world level and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was concerned about it. “I did apprise diplomats of various countries, prominent persons and the media in the U.S. about the ground situation in the valley, but at the same time felt the urgent need for working on the diplomatic front to reach the world community,” he said. Mirwaiz attended the 11th OIC meeting in Senegal recently. He clarified that the Hurriyat wanted resolution of the Kashmir issue through peaceful means in “accordance with the wishes and aspirations of people.” The Hurriyat chairman ruled out participation in the elections and said that such an exercise could not be a substitute to a process for finding an amicable and peaceful solution. The solution, he said, was only possible through dialogue in which all the three parties — India, Pakistan and the representatives of Kashmiris — should sincerely take part. The Mirwaiz expressed concern over what he called the continued human rights violations in the State. “New Delhi should read the writing on the wall. This is the time to resolve Kashmir issue,” he said.