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Autonomy not a solution: Hurriyat

January 21, 2005 18:06 IST

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference's moderate faction, on Friday rejected the Centre's move to have a fresh look at the issue of granting autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.

"Pressure is mounting on India to address the Kashmir issue in view of the flexibility shown by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf," the Mirwaiz told a congregation in Srinagar on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. "To ward off such pressure the Government of India has started engaging people of Kashmir in a frivolous issue."

On Monday, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil had announced the setting up of a committee to look into the autonomy issue.

The Mirwaiz said autonomy was not a solution. "The sacrifices being rendered by the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not for attaining internal autonomy, but freedom," he said.

He said parliamentary, assembly or civic polls in the state under the Indian Constitution could not be an alternative to the right to "self determination".

"Elections were held in the past in the state, but the Kashmir issue remained alive. Electoral processes in future will also be no solution to the issue. We consider them as futile exercises," he said.

Most of the Kashmiris were with the "freedom movement", he said, asking people not to participate in the coming civic elections.

The Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat hoped that all three parties to the Kashmir issue -- India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership -- would be flexible.

"India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership should take positive steps and act wisely to find an honourable and everlasting solution to the Kashmir issue and not take recourse to internal autonomy and civic bodies elections," he added.

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