Hurriyat moderates want to meet Indian PM before meeting Pak prez

Himalayan News Service

Srinagar, April 12:

Jammu and Kashmir’s moderate Hurriyat faction, led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, has said it would like to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before calling on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in New Delhi on Saturday. The executive committee and general council of the separatist group are meeting here today to chalk out an agenda for their upcoming interaction with Musharraf, when he arrives in New Delhi, a day before the India-Pakistan cricket match on Sunday. The group has been invited by the Pakistan high commission to meet Musharraf. “Before calling on the Pakistan president we would like to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” said a senior Hurriyat leader.

The Mirwaiz Hurriyat group has welcomed the reopening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road as well as the growing bonhomie between India and Pakistan. However, it has maintained that “the plying of the bus on the reopened Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road should be seen as the means to resolve the Kashmir problem and not an end in itself”. On the other hand, the hardline Syed Ali Geelani, chairperson of the breakaway Hurriyat group, has said the reopening of the road “was an Indian ploy to bury the Kashmir question once and forever and Pakistan had fallen into the Indian trap by accepting the proposal”.