Noting that the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama is focussed on economy, the moderate Hurriyat Conference faction on Sunday said economic development cannot be achieved without political stability in the region, which was dependent on the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“There is no doubt that the visit of Obama is focussed on economic development. But it cannot be achieved without political stability and resolution of Kashmir issue is imperative for achieving that goal,” Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said. The Hurriyat chairman, who is under house arrest, briefed journalists about the amalgam's signature campaign, which began on October 24, seeking U.S. intervention in resolution of the issue as bilateral dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad over the past many decades had failed to make any progress.

The Mirwaiz expressed surprise that the political parties and the Centre took objection to the “mere mention of third party intervention.”

“Why aversion?”

“When there are economic disputes [with Pakistan], Government of India approaches World Bank or IMF. Why is there aversion to do the same about political issues,” he asked.

The Hurriyat chairman said the amalgam had collected two-lakh signatures in the two-week campaign apart from thousands of signatures collected in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

“It is a symbolic initiative ... we do not expect the U.S. President to go through all these documents. I have spoken to U.S. Embassy officials and they have said that necessary action has been initiated after the mission received a large number of petitions through email and fax.”

The Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat did not expect any overnight results but a step-by-step approach for resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“The U.S. should appoint a special representative for South Asia if peace and stability is to be achieved in the region,” he said.

Keywords: Kashmir dispute

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