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Hurriyat backs Musharraf's Kashmir formula

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
June 15, 2005 19:51 IST
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Backing Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's 'autonomous Kashmir' formula, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday said attempts should now be made to build a consensus around it.

Musharraf, currently on a visit to Australia, was quoted by the local media as saying in Canberra that an 'autonomous
Kashmir' is his 'earnest desire'. He also said that complete independence for Kashmir will not be acceptable to both India and Pakistan.

Also see: Indo-Pak ties -- Musharraf promises his best shot

"President Musharraf has his own point of view. If there is a consensus decision, we will go ahead with it. What is the problem with it. The suffering of Kashmiri people must end. Lot of blood was shed.

"Violence should take a back seat now. Let us give this peace process a chance," Bilal Lone, a senior Hurriyat
leader, told the Indian media in Islamabad.

Lone, who heads the Peoples Conference Party, a constituent of the Hurriyat Conference, said several proposals, including that of an autonomous Kashmir, were discussed during their meeting with Musharraf.

The separatist leaders will wind up their fortnight-long visit to Pakistan on Thursday.

Also see: The road to peace

"Anything that satisfies maximum political thoughts in Kashmir, we should not say no to it. We should just go behind it. Musharraf being the president and chief of the army is in a commanding position. If we cannot solve it [the Kashmir dispute] now, it would be a tragedy for people of Kashmir and India," Lone said.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yaseen Malik, an advocate of independence, however, declined to react
to Musharraf's comments. "Let us leave it aside. We had an excellent visit to Pakistan," he said.

Malik, who held talks with Musharraf separately, claimed that the response he received during the visit to Pakistan was
a 'mandate' for the involvement of Kashmiris in the peace process.

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K J M Varma in Islamabad
Source: PTI© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.