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Kashmir head priest urges militants for dialogue

By Gowhar Nazir

Aug 16, 2006:

Chairman of the moderate faction of Kashmir's All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today urged the Hizbul Mujahideen to participate in talks without laying any preconditions.

The head priest maintained that dialogue was better than deadlock and advocated involving Hizb, the largest indigenous militant outfit in the state.

"Mujahideens should also be involved in talks," he said referrign to militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir.

Mirwaiz was speaking at Public Vision - II, an interactive programme organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS).

The Hurriyat chairman also took a dig at the mainstream politicians in the state saying "They represent Delhi in Kashmir, not Kashmir in Delhi".

"Hurriyat is a symbol of resistance in J&K," he added. However, Mirwaiz said right to self-determination was non-negotiable.

"Any agreement to be reached has to be in agreement satisfying all parties involved in Kashmir dispute," he said.

"Sentiment has to be addressed. Kashmiris are on a strong political wicket. We should, therefore, not shy away from talking and give India an opportunity to prolong its occupation," he added.

Mirwaiz informed he was heading for Ireland next month to study the Irish Peace Model and to learn about the negotiated settlement there.

Briefly talking about new proposals on Kashmir like United States of Kashmir (USK), joint management, self-governance and demilitarization, Mirwaiz said, "In today's world you don't get what you deserve or desire, you get what you can negotiate."

Chairman of the hardline Hurriyat faction Syed Ali Shah Geelani who spoke in the second session stressed upon the people to get united against "Indian occupation".

"I'm not in favour of forced unity. I'm not in favour of forced marriages," Geelani said. "Since 1947, dialogues on 130 counts were held but nothing came out of these because of India's insincere attitude and rigidity."

Reacting sharply to Chief Minster Ghulam Nabi Azad's speech of August 15 in Bakshi Stadium, Geelani said, "We're not separatists. We're freedom-loving people."

Azad had renewed his call for Hurriyat to participate in the third roundtable conference and asked militants to shun guns.

Geelani said that the biggest terrorist states were USA, followed by Israel and India. "We are not an integral part of India and the day India will stop parroting integral part rhetoric, I will start talking to it," he added.

Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti was also invited but she rejected the invite at the last minute citing parliamentary engagements as the reason.

Last year JKCCS had invited National Conference president Omar Abdullah and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Mohammad Yasin Malik to share the platform together in the programme Public Vision-I.

Also Read: A virtual war of freedom in Kashmir

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