New Delhi, Dec 14 : Hardline separatist groups should change their outlook in the efforts to find a solution to the Kashmir issue rather than professing politics of status quo which will not benefit anyone except them, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said today.
“Well, I think they (hardline separatists) need to change their outlook,” said the Mirwaiz, who is leading a seven-member delegation of moderate Hurriyat Conference group to Pakistan tomorrow for meetings with the Pakistani leadership.
He was replying to a question on hardline separatists including Syed Ali Shah Geelani being not in favour of any visit by Kashmiri leaders to Pakistan.
Without naming Geelani, the Mirwaiz said “it's unfortunate that there was such voices. When we entered into a dialogue with New Delhi, they dubbed us as traitors and now when we are going to Pakistan we are being labelled as sellers.
“This is their (hardliners) politics of status quo which benefits only them and no one other. What should we do? If they have a solution, let them come forward and give us,” he told PTI.
The Mirwaiz said a solution to Kashmir issue was not possible overnight and their visit to Pakistan was only a beginning.
“A small step in the right direction,” he said. During their meetings, the Hurriyat delegation is due to meet Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Foreign Minister Heena Rabbani Khar, Chief of PML-N Nawaz Sharief, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan besides political leadership of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).
The Mirwaiz said during his meetings with Khar and PoK leadership, he would press for opening of Sharda temple at village Shardi in Attamukam area in PoK.
Talking about their visit to Pakistan, the Mirwaiz said keeping in mind the bonhomie between India and Pakistan over various issues include trade, visa, people-to-people contact, it was necessary to carry on with efforts to resolve the most contentious issue of Kashmir.
“We are going to Pakistan to give a Kashmiri input and we want both the countries to further strengthen their relations by resolving all outstanding issues including Kashmir, which has otherwise been a stumbling block,” he said.
Asked whether the separatist amalgam would like to carry forward talks with the Centre as well after their return from Pakistan, the Mirwaiz said “we want the track of New Delhi-Srinagar to move on but for that let's be clear that such a dialogue need to be transparent.”
He also said the Centre needs to address the trust deficit as well. “Is it not ironical that they (the Centre) are not able to decide on withdrawal of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act which even the pro-India parties have been demanding.”
Ruling National Conference has been demanding partial withdrawal of AFSPA.
“Small concessions at ground are always giant leap towards addressing the trust deficit between New Delhi and Srinagar,” the Mirwaiz said.
The Mirwaiz also said there was a need to further strengthen Kashmir-related Confidence Building Measures between India and Pakistan which includes more liberal people-to-people contact from LoC, opening of banking channels for traders along LoC and promoting Intra-Kashmiri dialogue.