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APHC asks UPA to start dialogue with Pakistan

Last updated on: May 21, 2009 20:26 IST

Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, chairman of the moderate, All Parties Hurriyat Conference on Thursday, urged the Congress led United Progressive Alliance government to initiate immediate steps for the resolution of the Kashmir problem.

Addressing a large rally at the Eidgah grounds in summer capital to observe the 19th death anniversary of his father, late Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, Mirwaiz Umar set a two month long deadline for 'the new government to start a dialogue with Pakistan and the real representatives of Kashmiris for the resolution of the dispute'.

"Pandit Jahawar Lal Nehru had promised us the right to self determination and now that there was a strong government at the centre, it is time for those promises to be fulfilled."

The Mirwaiz also announced the a march to the city centre, Lal Chowk on Martyr's Day, the July 13.  "After paying tributes to the martyr's on July 13, we will march to the city centre Lal Chowk," he told the huge gathering that responded with loud cheers.

The joint coordination committee formed by the APHC groups in the wake of the Amarnath land row agitation had last year called for mass marches to Lal Chowk which were scuttled by the administration by imposition of curfew and strict restrictions in August last.

Thursday's rally which started from the Rajouri Kadal area passed through the streets of the old city, where they were warmly cheered by slogan shouting youth and women.The Mirwaiz rode on the top of a truck which was bedecked with Hurriyat flags, and thronged by hundreds of his slogan shouting supporters.

Demanding immediate release of the youth, who he said were languishing in jails, the Mirwaiz also demanded 'repeal of the draconian laws presently in force in the state'. He appealed the US president Barrack Obama to initiate Kashmir specific dialogue between India, Pakistan and those representatives of Kashmiris who according to him were 'real inheritors' of the martyr's of Kashmir'. The other separatist leaders also addressed the rally in the Eidgah grounds.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar