India, Pak PMs Should Discuss Kashmir in Bhutan: Mirwaiz

With the nuclear armed South Asian neighbor India and Pakistan still not sure whether their premiers will meet during the SAARC summit in Bhutan, senior separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Tuesday was optimistic that the heads of States of two countries will meet and discuss the Kashmir issue during the sidelines of SAARC summit.

“Kashmir is the core issue between the two countries and it is main cause for the strained relationship between the two nuclear armed South Asian neighbouring countries,” Mirwaiz, who is chairman of moderate faction of separatist Hurriyat conference, said while addressing media here.

He expressed optimism that the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani will meet on the sidelines of SAARC summit in Thimpu, capital of Bhutan.

“The heads of two countries should grab the opportunity and discuss Kashmir issue during the talks,” Mirwaiz said adding the two countries should realize that lingering of Kashmir dispute will continue to strain their relations.

“As Kashmiris, we urge them to take measures which will lead to consolidation of the peace process. There is no other alternative for the two countries but to resume the dialogue process. We will support every effort aimed at bringing the two countries to the negotiation table. Let them start, we will support such a move wholeheartedly,” Mirwaiz said.

He accused the Indian army and other security agencies of ‘stage managing’ many incidents to justify their presence in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Bureaucracy, army, non-Kashmiri officials, police and other agencies don’t want any political initiative to be taken for resolution of Kashmir issue,” he asserted.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.