Hurriyat suggests tripartite talks to resolve Kashmir issue

     The main separatist alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), today said that it favoured tripartite talks with India and Pakistan to resolve the dispute over the Himalayan region. This was disclosed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Chairman of APHC at a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday. Addressing the media persons, he said the APHC supports the dialogue initiative and at the same time reiterated that Kashmiri leadership has to be the main party to the negotiated resolution of the Kashmir dispute. "I hope India's ruling government gives a positive response to this initiative of the Hurriyat but they have to bring a change in their thinking to solve the Kashmir issue. As far as our initiative, the Kashmiri leadership has to negotiate talk. God Almighty concentrated efforts of talks begin with Delhi and Islamabad, which we want to carry forward," said Farooq. He termed his new call for dialogue as one that reflects public sentiment and the efforts to find a solution to the separatist issue. Farooq also said that the talks at formal and preliminary parleys were already on to have the dialogue at official level and very soon talks between government (federal and state) and separatists would take place. "There has been a considerable progress at the back channel level. There is a realisation on both levels that dialogue should start. So I mean it's still an early stage. So we would like to create a consensus within Kashmir, as how we wanted to move forward," added Farooq. Hurriyat started talks with New Delhi in 2004, the first between the two sides since a revolt demanding independence began in 1989, which also claimed the lives of 47000 people. The last round of Kashmir talks was held in May 2006. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Hurriyat agreed then to establish a system to discuss solutions to the dispute over Kashmir, dating from the partition of the Indian subcontinent in the late 1940s.

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