Musharraf, Manmohan Meet Makes Kashmiris Happy

The Indo-Pak peace process, which had been on the back burner after the Mumbai bomb blasts in July is back on track after the two leaders met at the NAM summit in Havana last evening. Both leaders had a detailed and cordial exchange of views and expressed a firm desire of carrying forward the dialogue process.

As the news about the two leaders issuing a joint statement late last evening was flashed on television channels, Kashmiri people had no limit to their joys as their hopes of everlasting peace in the region were renewed again.

“Kashmir dispute will only get solved by love (talks) and the eyes of the world community are on the leaders of both these countries for solving Kashmir, so that we can visit our relatives and religious places without any restriction or fear,” said Rajinder Singh a resident of Srinagar, who thinks that his desire to visit his religious places in Pakistan may be fulfilled now.

The same views were echoed by Nazir Ahmed, who is putting up in civil lines of Srinagar, “Talks should be meaningful and its result should be seen on the ground and I congratulate both leaders for this but also request them to continue talks so that the routine killing of fifteen-sixteen persons in the Valley stops and solve the Kashmir dispute once and for all”.

The mainstream politicians are happy with the resumption of talks but at the same time repeat that separatists too should come forward and participate in talks, “Its a good thing that both the leaders have met again and our Prime Minister too has accepted the invitation of the Pakistani president to visit Pakistan, as we think that talks only will solve Kashmir and others who have missed the chance too should join in holding talks,” said Peerzada Muhammad Syed, State President of the mainstream political party congress. But the separatist’s leaders are not happy with the things and term it as not so important, “We welcome it but at the same time, term it futile with guns roaring in the valley. Indian security forces should be called back to barracks first and then only talks could be fruitful,” said Moulvi Iftikar Ansari executive member All parties Hurriyat Confrence, an alliance of several political separatist parties. Ansari further adds that bilateral talks on Kashmir won’t do, as Kashmiri’s are basic to the dispute and they should be included in talks.

In the last 17 years of turmoil, more than 68,000 people have been killed in Kashmir where militants are fighting against Indian rule and demanding the region’s independence or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.

Suhail A. Wani is a writer from Kashmir. Suhail writes about local news and goings on in Kashmir, where he lives.