Mirwaiz, Yasin Malik want Kashmir committees be set up in India, Pakistan

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Srinagar, Sep.20 (ANI): The moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) on Monday demanded setting up of Kashmir committees in India and Pakistan to reach an everlasting solution to the Kashmir issue.

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who recently joined hands for the 'cause' of Kashmir on Eid, also called for making the present process transparent and designed to deliver a negotiated solution to the Kashmir issue "that is mutually worked towards by and acceptable to all parties concerned."

In a joint memorandum, addressed to the all-party delegation, the Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik said: "We look forward to entering into a dialogue based on shared commitments...Let the Government of India establish and empower an official body, a Kashmir Committee, consisting of senior representatives of major political parties to develop and enter into a process of engagement with representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir."

"We believe that a similar Kashmir Committee, bringing together all political forces, should also be established in Pakistan. We will suggest to political parties in Pakistan that this be done," it said.

If further stated that such a step would ensure that all major political forces in India and Pakistan were on board with the peace process "and it will help institutionalise and sustain the process to resolve the Kashmir problem."

"On our part we are ready and willing to engage and sustain a meaningful and irreversible process of dialogue designed to avoid the failures of the past and to jointly develop and implement a solution to the Kashmir dispute that is acceptable to all sides - India, Pakistan and above all the people of the State," the memorandum further stated.

Stating that "we must render the process immune from domestic politics and tendencies to act as spoilers," it added: "achieving a solution to the Kashmir issue should now rise above vote bank politics and be taken up as a national agenda shared by all, worked for by all, and risked for by all major political parties of India."

The memorandum also defended the decision of Mirwaiz and Malik to skip a meeting with the all-party delegation, stating : "...to voice our unequivocal condemnation of the killings of our children and youth, we choose not to meet with your delegation."

"We are now wary that your visit today, however well-intentioned, represents only an effort at short-term crisis management and that there is no clear commitment nor path towards effective resolution of the Kashmir issue and addressing the aspirations and interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," it said.

"We ask not for unilateral political concessions but rather a joint commitment to a meaningful process that guarantees results. We believe this is possible only if serious efforts are made to create a conducive environment for dialogue by removal of the harsh and repressive measures that are in force here, to suppress our aspirations and our fundamental democratic rights," it said.

Through the memorandum it was stated that in the past, it's been noticed that "it is only when a major crisis erupts that visible efforts are made to engage and understand our aspirations. And as soon as the immediate crisis subsides, the demonstrated and inherent political complacency and negligence is restored."

The memorandum further said that to create a beginning and to sustain the process of dialogue "we need to create a process in which all views and options - most of all Kashmiri aspirations will be considered and explored before arriving at an acceptable solution."

"Let resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir become a Common Minimum Programme shared by all political parties in India and in Pakistan," it stated.

On Monday morning, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who arrived here leading a 35-member all-party delegation, said the delegation has come to Jammu and Kashmir with an 'open mind' and hopes to 'carve out a path for taking the region out of its present cycle of violence'.

"The team has come with an open mind and the main purpose was to interact with people, listen to them patiently," said Chidambaram.

"We are here to listen to your views, we will give you a patient hearing, what you think we need to do, in order to bring to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the hope and the belief that their honour and dignity and their future are secure as part of India," he added.

The 39-member delegation, which arrived in Srinagar on a crucial two-day visit to assess the ground situation, was received by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Led by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the all-party delegation expects to find ways to restart the dialogue process with different sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir, and specifically in the Kashmir Valley.

The delegation includes senior parliamentary party leaders such as the BJP's Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Basudeb Acharia of the CPI (M), Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI and JD (U) president Sharad Yadav. (ANI)

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