Pakistan Foreign Minister’s call acknowledgement of J&K ground situation: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Hurriyat leaders (from left) Abdul Gani Bhat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Bilal Gani Lone address a press conference in Srinagar January 30, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Hurriyat faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Wednesday termed Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s eight-minute phone call the “first ever high-level reach out” by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to the separatists.

“Yes, it’s a first high level reach out by Mr. Khan, since he took over in Pakistan, to the Hurriyat. It has come at a time when J&K is witnessing an unprecedented violence, which is leading to the killing of young boys and imprisoning of scores of others for their political thoughts. The call is an acknowledgement from Pakistan that it’s aware of the ground situation here and seeks an end to the bloodshed of innocent people,” the Mirwaiz told The Hindu in an interview.

Mr. Qureshi, on behalf of the Pakistan government, conveyed to the Mirwaiz his “concern at the rising human rights violations in J&K and the country’s desire to see Kashmir issue resolved.”


The Mirwaiz said Mr. Qureshi highlighted how Mr. Khan “with all sincerity went ahead to reach out to India for a composite dialogue, including the Kashmir issue.”

“There is a concern in Pakistan that the Government of India was cold and negative to Mr. Khan’s genuine gestures towards holding a dialogue,” the Mirwaiz said.

The Hurriyat chairman said he reiterated his stand that the two countries must come closer to resolve the Kashmir issue. “Kashmir dispute is a reality. All three parties have to be involved for a lasting resolution. No amount of denial can change the status of the problem. The Government of India has to move beyond status quo and reach out to both Pakistan’s offer of talks and to Kashmiri’s plight,” he said.

Mr. Qureshi also invited the Mirwaiz to attend Pakistan’s first all-parliamentarians seminar being held on the Kashmir issue at the United Kingdom’s House of Commons in the first week of February. “Mr. Qureshi did express his wish to see the Hurriyat leaders travelling to London and Pakistan in the near future to effectively push for a permanent resolution of Kashmir,” said the Mirwaiz.

Mr. Qureshi-led delegation will also hold an exhibition on Kashmir in London on February 5, which is observed as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ in Pakistan.

Party renamed

Meanwhile, a faction of separatist Peoples Conference, headed by Bilal Lone, on Wednesday renamed its party J&K Peoples Independent Movement. The move comes because another PC faction was headed by Sajad Lone, who is contesting the upcoming Assembly and parliament elections. Bilal Lone’s party is a constituent of the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat.

“My priority is to carry forward the mission of Shaheed-e-Hurriyat Abdul Gani Lone, which he pursued throughout his life,” said Mr. Lone.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 5:26:08 PM |

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