Indians Have A Stake In Kashmir: Mirwaiz29 November 2010
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: A day after being physically assaulted in Chandigarh, an undeterred All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has moved on to his next destination to 'tell India about the idea behind Kashmir's struggle.' 'I guess mainstream India is not aware of the ground reality of Kashmir, and the whole thing there was being seen through Pakistani prism. That's not the case. Why Kashmir is angry, there is very little or no understanding of it,' The Mirwaiz told Hindustan Times on phone from Delhi on Friday. ' From our point of view, the people of India are stake holders in Kashmir as well. The public opinion would matter a lot in taking any decision on the resolution of Kashmir,' he said as he underlined that 'being pro-Kashmir doesn't mean being anti-India.' 'We are trying to tell what our ideas are. What Kashmir struggle is and why it is important for the people to know about it,' the Mirwaiz told HT even as he described Thursday's disruption of his function in Chandigarh as some thing 'being part of politics.' Mirwaiz, 37, who was the first to tell on the soil of Pakistan in 2007 that 'Kashmir cannot afford to have more graveyards' and had sought dialogue as a way forward in his message to the militant outfits that the cult of violence no longer could deliver a solution to Kashmir crisis, said that his 'idea is to tell what the idea of Kashmir is.' His observations about Kashmir were preceded by an attack on his house and followed by severe criticism by the militant outfits. He would be interacting with the people in New Delhi and Kolkota and also in Jammu. 'We have always believed in dialogue and this is our way of holding dialogue,' he said and added, 'The people of India must know that we have a problem and that needs a resolution'. The Mirwaiz is the face of dialogue in Kashmir vis-à-vis New Delhi and Islamabad. He was the first one to lead delegation of the Hurriyat Conference for talks with the NDA government in 2004 and subsequently held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 and 2006 and was also involved in a 'quiet dialogue' with the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in November-December 2009. He, however, said 'no talks' with the Centre's three interlocutors. On Thursday too he was optimistic that he would be able to have a 'good interaction' with civil society in Chandigarh. And even after the incident, he did not blame any one for the disruption. 'It happens, we got to take it in our stride as ours is a struggle that cannot be halted because of some incidents here and there.'