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"Our talks definitely helped"

Thursday 16 June 2005, by BUKHARI*Shujaat

Positive indicators from both India and Pakistan, says Mirwaiz

We held talks with a cross section of the leadership. It has definitely helped in continuing the process for finding an amicable solution: Mirwaiz Farooq

SRINAGAR: After spending two weeks in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), the nine leaders of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) returned to a low key reception here on Thursday.

Though the Hurriyat leaders talked about positive indicators of taking the dialogue forward, JKLF chairman Yasin Malik said he would continue his struggle for ensuring a seat for the "Kashmiris" on peace table.

Amid tight security arrangements all along the 118-km road from here to Kaman Post, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, his colleagues Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulvi Abbas Ansari, Bilal Lone and Fazl Haque Qureshi, crossed the Line of Control with optimism saying that leadership in Pakistan and PoK had supported their triangular approach to resolve the Kashmir issue.

"We held talks with a cross section of the leadership. It has definitely helped in continuing the process for finding an amicable and acceptable solution to the Kashmir problem," Mirwaiz Farooq said. "But we feel that it needed to be strengthened and taken forward in order to achieve desired results," he added.

The Mirwaiz said there were "positive indicators" from both India and Pakistan and "we will begin consultations within and outside state."

Upbeat with what he called "complete unanimity in Pakistan and PoK" on the Hurriyat’s triangular approach and the involvement of the Kashmiris, the Mirwaiz said: "I think the need is to keep on going in that direction"

The Mirwaiz termed the visit as "first step" towards involvement in the peace process and said: "We are happy that we have been recognised as a party."

To a question on their talks with militant leader Syed Salahuddin on ceasefire, the Hurriyat chief said: "The Kashmiri movement is being undertaken at various levels and there is need to combine... " But he preferred a political dialogue. He said the issue of ceasefire never came up for discussion. However, he did not rule out the possibility of one in future. "Ceasefire can come later as we only discussed the dialogue. One of the positive outcomes of the talks could be ceasefire," he said.

The Mirwaiz clarified that the Hurriyat had not put any conditions and was ready to talk to both India and Pakistan.

The JKLF chairman, in contrast, looked cynical.

"I want to tell you that no decision to involve the people of Kashmir was taken. But I will continue my struggle because I believe that without the involvement of the Kashmiri leadership there is no future for the dialogue between India and Pakistan," he said.

DFP leader Mohammad Abdullah Taari did not speak to the media.

The Mirwaiz said he would make the outcome of talks public during the Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid on Friday.

In view of blast in Pulwama on Monday in which 15 people were killed, the Hurriyat Conference had decided to put off reception to its leaders.

However, a few hundreds supporters were at Uri to receive them.

See online : The Hindu

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