Hurriyat leader asks India to talk to PakistanAugust 18th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Aug 18 (IANS) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief of the moderate faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, Monday asked the Indian government to hold trilateral talks with Pakistan and Kashmiri leaders to resolve the 60-year-old dispute. Addressing a mammoth rally here, the Mirwaiz also asked India to immediately open trade routes with Pakistan through the Line of Control (LoC) - the de-facto border between India and Pakistan.
The Mirwaiz, who has a strong support base in downtown Srinagar, led a march of thousands Monday. Sitting atop a mini truck, covered with banners reading pro-freedom slogans, he flashed a victory sign amid roars of thousands shouting “We Want Freedom!”
Tens of thousands of people supporting the cause of a free Kashmir congregated here from all over the valley Monday and marched towards the UN office shouting pro-Pakistan and pro-Islam slogans while security forces, asked to exercise maximum restraint, watched on.
The march to United Military Observers’ Group (UNMOG) office in uptown Srinagar was sponsored by the separatist Hurriyat Conference to seek UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s intervention to resolve the long standing issue of the future of the Kashmir valley.