The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Call to rise over rigid stance

New Delhi, Sept. 8: The Kashmir Committee today wrapped up talks with the Hurriyat Conference here with an appeal to all parties involved in the state to give up rigid stances.

The appeal to clear the cobwebs of the past has been endorsed by the Hurriyat leaders and applies equally to Indian, Pakistani and Kashmiri leaders. All sides have failed in the last 50 years to come up with a final settlement of the dispute over the Valley.

Though the panel’s members are upbeat, much will depend on the Centre’s response to the Hurriyat’s “softening” stand. Delhi is unlikely to make any move before the Kashmir elections.

Much will also depend on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s talks with US President George Bush in New York. The talks between Bush and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf are equally important as it will give an indication of Islamabad’s future stand on Kashmir. For the present, there will be no move from the Indian government on Kashmir, senior officials said.

“While taking stock of the situation, both parties mutually agreed that all those concerned must rise above their traditional positions, abandon extreme stands and show the necessary flexibility and realism to reach an acceptable, honourable and durable solution,” Mirwaiz Umer Farooq of the Hurriyat told reporters after the meeting. He was briefing the press together with committee member M.J. Akbar.

Giving up its earlier stand is being interpreted in informed circles here as the Hurriyat’s insistence on the UN resolution on Kashmir and the right to plebiscite for the people, India and the BJP’s hardline stand on removal of Article 370 that confers on Kashmir a special status, and for Pakistan, giving up its claims to the Valley. However, whether any of the three parties is willing to do so is yet to be seen.

In turn, the Kashmir Committee supported the Hurriyat demand to visit Pakistan for talks with Kashmiri leaders in PoK as well as with Musharraf and the Pakistan establishment. The panel felt that the dialogue between people on both sides of the divide was important.

Email This PagePrint This Page