Mirwaiz readies ground for Pak visit, asks Valley to play ‘positive role’
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Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Saturday asked the people of Kashmir and its leadership to play a "positive role" at a time when India and Pakistan are inching closer.
"When India and Pakistan are inching closer with trade and other confidence building measures, Kashmiri people and their leadership need to play a positive role so that decks are cleared for resolution of the long-standing Kashmir issue," Mirwaiz said here.
He was addressing a meeting convened by the Hurriyat as part of steps being taken by it to build a consensus ahead of its visit to Pakistan later this month. "Kashmiris are the worst sufferers of the animosity between India and Pakistan. We have initiated a process and our efforts at this time... are aimed at playing a role in finding a solution to the (Kashmir) issue with new thought and approach," Mirwaiz said.
With leaders of Sikhs and Kashmiri Pandits present at the meeting, the moderate Hurriyat leader said they wanted to assure the state's minorities that they wanted to take them along.
The moderate Hurriyat faction also said that the criticism of its planned Pakistan visit by certain separatist quarters was unnecessary. "Those who are raising unnecessary objections... lack understanding of the changing world political scenario," senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat said.
Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who rejected Pakistan's invitation, has criticised the decision of the moderates to go. Also opposed to the trip is another Hurriyat leader, Shabir Ahmad Shah, who believes elections in Pakistan have prompted Islamabad's invite.