India, Pak Keep Channels Open, Mirwaiz Says ‘things Happening’

15 November 2009
The Indian Express
Riyaz Wani

Srinagar: Away from public glare, India and Pakistan Track II channels have been busy and it is learnt that two rounds of meetings have taken place in Bangkok in the last three weeks between former Pakistan High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmed Khan and former RAW chief A S Dullat. Aziz was in Srinagar recently in connection with an intra-Kashmir conference which was also attended by former Pakistan Foreign Secretary Humayun Khan. They later met Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief of the moderate Hurriyat faction, at his residence. Dullat is an old Kashmir hand, known to most separatist leaders. In fact, the moderate Hurriyat, invited by Islamabad for talks, plans to travel to Pakistan after Eid-ul-Azha on November 28. The Mirwaiz, who today broke away from a tour of Doda to meet Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik in New Delhi over lunch, later told The Indian Express: “There is some momentum getting built for a substantive Indo-Pak engagement... Things are happening. Various proposals are being discussed.” Earlier, Mirwaiz’s Hurriyat colleague Abdul Gani Bhat met Malik twice in the past week. Bhat has been camping in New Delhi where he had gone to attend a seminar early this month. Bhat has called for a broader political alliance between mainstream and separatist forces in the Valley.