Hurriyat Chief To Meet Obama

Srinagar: Advocating openly for the US intervention and facilitation over the Kashmir issue for years now, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is in the US to attend a meeting scheduled to be addressed by President Barack Obama.

Mirwaiz Umar FarooqThe Mirwaiz has been invited to the 59th National Prayer Breakfast by Congressman Jeff Miller (Republican) and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (Democrat), co-chairs of the National Prayer Breakfast to be held on February 3.

Many prominent faces of the global political spectrum, including Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto, will participate in the meeting. Some 3,500 guests, including international invitees from over 100 countries, will be present at the breakfast. Obama will be key-note speaker on the occasion.

“We, the people of different faiths need each other to build bridges, to work together against forces that divide us. We have much more in common in our heritage to celebrate than to differ,” said the Mirwaiz, a day ahead of the breakfast during his address to the delegates.

The Mirwaiz stressed on the need for better understanding between different faiths and religions. He asked for justice to people caught in wars and conflicts. “We need to unite to bring justice to warfare, war crimes, and gruesome human rights violations, whether In Kashmir, East Timor, or elsewhere. May we dedicate our lives to work in strife-torn communities, building bridges between alienated and traumatized people, being extraordinary agents of peace and reconciliation,” said the Mirwaiz.

The Mirwaiz — who is going to be the key-note speaker at an event at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia on February 5, entitled “India-Pakistan Relations: Breaking the Deadlock Over Kashmir — told the delegates that the demand of the people of Kashmir to exercise the right to self-determination was negotiated with both India and Pakistan and endorsed by the United Nations.

“The settlement of this long-standing issue will guarantee peace and prosperity not only in Kashmir but also in the whole region of South Asia. Therefore, the world powers including United States have the moral obligation to respond to the peaceful resistance initiated by the people of Kashmir,” said the Mirwaiz.
The moderate separatist leader has been advocating a third party mediation on the Kashmir, naming the US and China in his statements in the past.

The Mirwaiz disclosed last year that he was in touch with US special Af-Pak envoy Richard Hoolbrooke, who died last year due to heart ailments. “Peace to Afghanistan has to come through Kashmir,” said the Mirwaiz in his speeches last year.

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