Dialogue Only Way Out, Says Mirwaiz

5 December 2009
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: A day after the murderous attack on its senior leader Fazal Haq Qureshi, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (moderate) reiterated that dialogue was the only way out to resolve the Kashmir issue, and said the conglomerate would not be cowed down by such acts. After chairing an emergency meeting of the Hurriyat executive here on Saturday, chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said such attacks would not deter “us from pursuing the path of dialogue.” “The dialogue between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership is the only way out. We will not be cowed down by these attacks of cowards.” Whenever the Kashmir issue was at a crucial juncture, the Mirwaiz said, different agencies would become active and create confusion and a negative impact on the masses with their activities. Insiders told The Hindu that the Mirwaiz was upset at the hype over the dialogue much before it could take off. He told this reporter that the act was aimed at silencing the voices of reason. “We do not know which group or agency is behind this but it is a fact that these are the people who do not want a resolution of the Kashmir problem. These elements of vested interests are thriving on the confusion and they know that in the event of a resolution [of the issue], they will have to close shop,” he said. Meanwhile, Mr. Qureshi’s condition continues to be critical, according to doctors attending on him in the S.K. Institute of Medical Sciences here. “Though he is stable, he continues to be on ventilator,” director Abdul Hamid Zargar said. Strike in city In response to a call given by the Hurriyat Conference, shops and business establishments downed the shutters in most parts of the city. In downtown, groups of youth clashed with the police and threw stones at them. The police used teargas shells to disperse them. Omar’s plea Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said talks would continue despite such attacks. He counselled the Hurriyat Conference not to shy away from the dialogue process. For, doing so would serve the purpose of those who indulged in such activities.