Mirwaiz meets Basit

Mirwaiz meets Basit

Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq tonight met Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to understand Islamabad's stand at the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks held between India and Pakistan besides informing him of the "ground situation" in the state.

After reaching Delhi, the Mirwaiz, who is leading a team of seven members to participate in the Pakistan Day celebrations tomorrow, said, "It is important that you understand, if we have to end violence, Kashmir cannot have a military solution. It cannot have a solution through violence.

"But we also need to have a parallel political process so that we can move forward towards this resolution. Hurriyat primarily believes that Kashmir is a political problem, it is not a problem of good or bad governance. It is not a territorial dispute, it is not a regional dispute. It's an issue about the people. Let there be some movement forward, let some political initiative be taken. We are ready to support that process, both vis-a-vis New Delhi and through Islamabad."

The Mirwaiz later met Basit for a one-to-one meeting at the residence of the High Commissioner where the envoy told him about the stand taken by Islamabad during the talks held between Inidian Foreign Secretary S Jaishanker and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

This meeting comes a fornight after Basit had gone to the Delhi residence of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and updated him about the talks.

Before going for the meeting with the Pakstani High Commissioner, the Mirwaiz told PTI that his group was always in favour of finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue and act "as a bridge" between the two countries for building and consolidating peace in the entire sub-continent.

"Both the countries have been holding talks with each other for nearly six decades but no solution has emerged. We in Hurriyat believe that we can become a platform, a bridge where the two countries can build and consolidate peace in the entire region."

Besides the Mirwaiz, others in the delegation included Abdul Gani Bhat, Maulana Abbas Ansari, Bilal Gani Lone, Aga Syed Hassan, Mussadiq Adil and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza.

The Mirwaiz said Hurriyat Conference always wanted that the two countries should be talking and resolving all outstanding issues including Kashmir.

The Mirwaiz faction of the Hurriyat has advocated negotiations between the two countries and has held talks with the previous NDA regime led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and UPA government of Manmohan Singh.

The Narendra Modi government had cancelled Foreign Secretary-level talks in August last year after Basit had met Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of meeting, ignoring calls by the Indian government not to go ahead with it.

However, after the BJP entered into an alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, it was agreed that every stakeholder "irrespective of their ideological views and predilections" will be taken on board.

The alliance for agenda of the PDP-BJP said "coalition Government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, which will include all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections. This dialogue will seek to build a broad-based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of Jammu and Kashmir".

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