Narendra Modi in Jammu and Kashmir: Hurriyat leaders ask for talks with prime minister

Srinagar: Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Friday that the government should allow the people to assemble at Lal Chowk tomorrow so that they could convey their 'mann ki baat' to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit.

 Narendra Modi in Jammu and Kashmir: Hurriyat leaders ask for talks with prime minister

File image of Hurriyat leaders. PTI

"Modi all have been listening to your (radio address) 'mann ki baat' for years now. As you come here tomorrow, allow us Kashmiris to peacefully gather at Lal Chowk so that you hear our 'mann ki baat'! It's just three words — resolve Kashmir dispute," Mirwaiz said in his address to a Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

Tight security arrangements have been put in place in Kashmir in view of the prime minister's visit to the state tomorrow.

Mirwaiz said that the Kashmir issue was not due to a deficit of good governance or lack of development. "The problem in Kashmir is not administrative in nature related to roads, inaugurating of tunnels, power projects or jobs, that it can be addressed thus nor was it a law and order issue to be handled by repression but it is a dispute directly linked to the political future of tens of millions of citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and it needs to be resolved as per the will and aspirations of these people," he said.

"Temporary measures can bear no fruit unless Delhi accepts the ground realities in Kashmir," he said while commenting on a month-long unilateral ceasefire announced by the Centre.

Mirwaiz said goodwill gestures cannot be meant for a month alone but have to be long-term and meaningful.  "If Government of India really means business it must look at real confidence-building measures like demilitarisation and repealing draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Public Safety Act. These measures must be followed by the start of a process wherein all the three parties to the dispute India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir come together to hammer out a solution acceptable to all in keeping with the will and aspirations of the key party — the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

The prime minister will lay the foundation stone of Rs 6,800 crore strategic Zojila tunnel, Asia's longest bi-directional tunnel, in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

Updated Date: May 19, 2018 09:20:18 IST