Moderate Hurriyat faction aims to bring Kashmir back on Pakistan’s agenda

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The main aim of the Hurriyat (M) delegation’s visit to Pakistan is to bring Kashmir back on the agenda of Islamabad, Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Thursday. Mirwaiz said their visit would initiate a “process-oriented effort” to bring Kashmir issue on forefront. The delegation (executive body of the conglomerate) would leave for Delhi on Thursday before arriving in Pakistan on Saturday. It is after a gap of five years that a delegation of Hurriyat (M) is visiting Pakistan. “An impression is being given in Pakistan and through the ongoing peace process between the two countries that Kashmir does not hold significance as it used to have and that it is not in the picture,” Mirwaiz said.“So the purpose of the visit would be to bring Kashmir to the fore. We would stress on Islamabad to bring Kashmir back on its agenda.” He said the Kashmir issue seemed to have faded amid the range of CBMs and increased bonhomie between India and Pakistan. “We want to clear the impression that the CBMs on small issues like trade are not going to help Kashmir. You have to address Kashmir issue to bring permanent stability in South Asia.” Mirwaiz said it was high time the Kashmiri leadership gave impetus to the core issue “since the Kashmiri discourse is losing it relevance in Pakistan”. He said Kashmir seemed to be slipping from the Pakistani media agenda as well.“There are some people in Pakistan who want to give an impression that Kashmir should be kept on the backburner. But their constituency is very small,” Mirwaiz said, claiming that majority of the Pakistanis were with the Kashmir cause. The Hurriyat (M) chairman said people should not pin high hopes on the visit. “We are visiting Pakistan to bring Kashmir back on the agenda. We want to stir a debate in Pakistani civil society. We want to tell them that less killings does not mean end of Kashmir movement.”