Moderate Hurriyat faction invites New Delhi for talks

May 20th, 2008 - 3:43 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Ali G

Srinagar, May 20 (IANS) The moderate faction of Jammu and Kashmir’s separatist Hurriyat Conference has invited New Delhi for a “meaningful dialogue”. The move comes soon after US President George W. Bush’s statement following his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani that the Kashmir issue was ripe for solution.

“We invite the government of India for a meaningful dialogue as resolving Kashmir was in everybody’s interest,” Abdul Gani Bhat, spokesperson of the Mirwaiz Umer Farooq-led Hurriyat group, said Monday at a seminar to commemorate the 18th death anniversary of late Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq.

In a significant departure from their past stand, the separatist conglomerate has also invited pro-India parties to help resolve the Kashmir problem.

“We have no problem if National Conference patron Dr. Farooq Abdullah, People’s Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed or Saifuddin Soz represent Kashmir,” Bhat said.

He, however, added that these leaders did not represent the sentiments of the people as they always fail to speak about rights violations.

Without naming hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, Bhat said: “The other Hurriyat Conference also represents the sentiments of the people, but they do not understand the dynamics of global changes.”

In another significant development, Umer Farooq said those making a demand for total demilitarisation of Kashmir were living in an “unrealistic world”.

He said his group would make an important announcement Wednesday, the death anniversary of his father, the late Mirwaiz, who was assassinated here on May 21, 1990.

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