No resolution of Kashmir without taking Kashmiris on board: Mirwaiz


The Kashmir dispute cannot be resolved without taking the people of Kashmir on board, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Institute of Strategic Students (ISSI), Mirwaiz said, “It is very important to determine the context of the issue… it should first be determined whether Kashmir is a territorial dispute or a question of the rights of the Kashmiri people?”
He said although the issue was bilateral in nature, the aspirations of the Kashmiri people should also be taken into account. He expressed concern that the government of India was successfully able to confuse grievances of the Kashmiri people with their aspirations. “It has been projecting that resolving issues like health care and poor governance etc will address the aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” he said.
He said people of Kashmir were looking towards Pakistan for support as Pakistan acknowledged that Kashmiris had to be a part of negotiations “but the important question arises which party will be allowed to come to the table? Would it be parties like the PDP and the National Congress, which are backed by India, or some other party supported by Pakistan?”
Mirwaiz stressed the need for developing a mechanism and a clear policy for the way forward. He welcomed the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan but also highlighted the fact that unless the core issue, that is, the Kashmir issue was resolved, talks on other problems like Siachen and Sir Creek would not bear any fruit.
Mirwaiz said the APHC had been demanding the Indian government revoke laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reduction of troops in the valley and stressed that Pakistan should put its weight behind the APHC. Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat also spoke on the occasion. He said a number of changes were taking place round the world which made the prospects of the resolution of the dispute bright. “The Kashmiris want a permanent solution to this problem as it is linked to the peace and security of the entire South Asian region.”