Invite separatists, Pakistan for dialogue, says Mirwaiz

Srinagar, May 21 (Calcutta Tube) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads the moderate Hurriyat faction, said here Friday India cannot hold Kashmir through its military might and time has come for New Delhi to initiate an all-inclusive dialogue inviting Pakistan and separatist leaders to resolve the issue.

‘There would be no compromise on the sacrifices made by the martyrs for independence,’ he said while addressing a large rally of separatist supporters at the Eidgah grounds, adjacent to the martyrs’ graveyard here, called to commemorate the 20th death anniversary of slain Hurriyat leader and his father Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq.

‘India is not so much concerned about the separatist militant campaign as it is about the huge public sentiment against it,’ the separatist leader said.

The Mirwaiz said economic packages would not help to resolve the Kashmir problem, which involved the political destiny of the people here.

‘Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris and they will choose their destination,’ he asserted.

Earlier, the Mirwaiz led a procession by his supporters through the old city to reach the Eidgah grounds.

His supporters shouted slogans in favour of independence, Pakistan and the separatist guerrillas.

The administration allowed the separatist rally in the city where a complete shutdown to mark the 20th death anniversary of the elder Mirwaiz affected daily life as shops, other business establishments remained closed and public transport was off the roads.

Despite the rally, the day passed off peacefully without any major event of violence taking place anywhere.

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