A trilateral process of negotiations should be introduced between Pakistan, India and Kashmir to inch towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue, said All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leader Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq.
A delegation of APHC led by Farooq on Friday evening met with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s President Nawaz Sharif at the latter’s Raiwind residence where both leaders discussed the ways of resolving the long-standing issue.
Pakistan and India should include the Kashmiri people’s point of view in any dialogue process, agreed both leaders at a press conference. Sharif said that Kashmiri people’s view should be given due attention, adding that improved relations between Pakistan and India will help resolve the Kashmir issue and increased trade will help in this regard.
When former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Pakistan in 1999, he announced his commitment to solve the Kashmir issue within a year, and backward channels were geared up in this regard, but unfortunately Musharraf’s regime sabotaged the process, said the PML-N chief.
Farooq said that till the Kashmir issue is resolved, trade with India is a futile exercise.
The people of Kashmir are not against improved relations between Pakistan and India but they believe that prosperity, development and peace in the region is dependent on the justice they receive, said the APHC leader. Past policies have failed to bring any effective change in the lives of the Kashmiri people, he added.
Though improved confidence building measures between Pakistan and India are indeed a positive development, someone must ask the people of Kashmir whether they are benefitting from those, said Farooq.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2012.