New Delhi, Asharq Al-Awsat- The moderate separatist alliance, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), lead by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has held talks with the Indian Prime Minister, Manhoman Singh as part of the peace process in Kashmir.
In a telephone conversation with Asharq al-Awsat, Umer Farooq who is also a leading Muslim cleric said, "Violence is no solution for Kashmir. We shall use our influence on militant groups to put a stop to the violence, to which the APHC is dedicated. Our party will discuss this with the militant groups."
He further added that, "the Indian government should also step forward and announce an internal ceasefire in Kashmir as we request that guns from all sides, both the militants and the Indian security forces, be put down."
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq led a five-member delegation of the APHC in a two hour plus meeting with the Indian Prime Minister on 5 September 2005. This was the third round of talks with the Indian government in the past 18 months.
Following the meeting, Farooq told Asharq al-Awsat that the Indian Prime Minister firmly understood the urgency in the significantly political issue of Kashmir, in which thousands have lost their lives.
Farooq expressed his optimism following the talks, especially that everybody, whether Indian, Pakistani or Kashmiri, had accepted that dialogue is the only solution for Kashmir.
However, leaders of militant groups earlier this summer, rejected an invitation from Hurriyat leaders during their visit to Pakistan, to attend talks concerning ending the violence.