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India, Pak have agreed on troop reduction: Mirwaiz
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March 02, 2007 16:17 IST
Last Updated: March 02, 2007 17:43 IST

Chairman of Hurriyat Conference's moderate faction Mirwaiz Umer Farooq Friday claimed India and Pakistan have agreed on reduction of troops in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"We are happy that India and Pakistan have agreed on withdrawal of troops from Jammu and Kashmir and Azad Kashmir (PoK) which would be the first step towards resolution of the Kashmir issue," the Mirwaiz said in his Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar after the noon prayers.

Farooq said during its recent meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri in Delhi, the Hurriyat delegation was told that the two countries were working out modalities of troop withdrawal from either side of the Line of Control.

Farooq said New Delhi and Islamabad have also agreed that there was no military solution to Kashmir issue and progress towards a lasting settlement would have to be made in a phased manner.

The withdrawal of troops and revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act make a perfect beginning to the phase-wise resolution of the Kashmir issue, he said. "We want to assure both India and Pakistan that Hurriyat will extend its full support and cooperation in pushing forward the peace process."

Without naming the People's Democratic Party, Farooq said some political groups are giving an impression that they are the moving forces behind the changes taking place in the state.

India and Pakistan are taking several steps towards resolution of the Kashmir issue due to supreme sacrifices of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. They have no role to play in demilitarisation, the Mirwaiz said. He said it was unfortunate that some "pro-India parties" are claiming credit for these developments. "Their aim is to get power and secure their vote bank. They are trying to fool people which will not happen this time around. "He (PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) is forgetting that he was the one who brought the army to Kashmir. These people are not bothered about what will happen to the people or the Kashmir issue."

In a veiled reference to National Conference, the Mirwaiz said another party is thinking about contesting elections instead of trying to get together on the peace process.

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