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Hurriyat calls for more flexibility on Kashmir
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December 05, 2006 21:38 IST

Moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Tuesday welcomed the 'four-point solution' put forth by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] on the Kashmir issue, saying 'flexibility and seriousness' were required to reach a consensus to find a lasting solution to the problem.

"Hurriyat is open for discussion on all options but the status quo vis-a-vis Kashmir issue is not acceptable. We have to move forward and find out an everlasting solution to the long-standing problem," Mirwaiz told PTI in Srinagar [Images].

Reacting to Musharraf's statement that Islamabad was prepared to give up its claim on Kashmir if India accepts his four-point solution that includes demilitarisation and 'self-governance with joint supervision mechanism,' the Mirwaiz said: "Flexibility on the part of concerned parties -- New Delhi, Islamabad and Kashmiris -- and seriousness and sincerity were needed to reach a solution."

"Rigidity will not lead us anywhere. We (all the three parties) have to deviate from the beaten track and discuss the emerging concepts," Mirwaiz said.

However, he said the 'autonomy' and 'self-rule' proposals of the National Conference and People's Democratic Party as a solution to Kashmir issue were 'not acceptable' to Hurriyat Conference as these only deal between New Delhi and Srinagar.

"We support self-governance, demilitarisation, joint management and similar other proposals, which revolve around four centres -- Muzaffarabad, Kashmir, Islamabad and New Delhi -- and capable of helping in finding a solution to Kashmir issue," he said.

However, the rival faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani reserved its reaction on the statement of Musharraf saying: "It is a serious development and we will first discuss the issue."

"The four-point solution of Musharraf is nothing new but what is important is his assertion that Pakistan is prepared to give up its claim on Kashmir if India and Pakistan agree on the four-point formula," Geelani told PTI.

"The issue (deviation of Pakistan from the traditional stand on Kashmir) was discussed in length at a meeting of the Hurriyat and it was decided that all the constituents of the amalgam will discuss the changing political situation at their party levels separately and then accordingly brief the Advisory Council of the Hurriyat," Geelani said.

The meeting of the Advisory Council will continue on Wednesday and the future stand and policy of the Hurriyat Conference would be known on Thursday, Geelani added.

Jammu and Kashmir [Images] Democratic Freedom Party President and senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah said, "Our stand is clear. We want implementation of UN resolutions or result-oriented dialogue process to resolve Kashmir issue."      

Shah neither welcomed nor rejected the statement of Musharraf, saying: "Pakistan and India are the two other parties to the Kashmir issue besides Kashmiris, the basic party. It is better to discuss any proposal for the resolution of Kashmir issue on the negotiating table wherein all the three parties are involved."

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