Srinagar, India, Asharq Al-Awsat – News that parties in the long-running conflict in Jammu and Kashmir might agree on a common solution have been circulating on Monday, following a meeting between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the head of the Hurriyat Party Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, two days ago, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, in New York City.
A copy of the agreement will be discussed with Indian prime Minster Manmohan Singh during a forthcoming visit by a Hurriyat delegation to New Delhi.
Sources in Srinagar told Asharq al Awsat there was a possibility an agreement on the crisis could be reached which would be acceptable to all parties.
Moulvi Abbas Ansari, the former moderate Hurriyat chief, said the group would discuss the agreement in a general counsel meeting and consult other separatist groups in Kashmir if need be, before submitting the document to the Indian leader.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat’s choice of Pakistan as the first party to receive the draft has caused great concern in New Delhi, especially with policymakers trying to bridge the gap between separatist leaders and their government. A source at the Kashmir desk of office of the PM questioned the group’s hidden agenda and its closeness to Islamabad.
Ansari rejected these claims and indicated his group sought to present the document to the Indian leader during their September meeting but that Singh opted to view it after returning from meetings in Paris and at the UN.
As Hurriyat readied itself for the meeting with the Indian leader, several dissenting voices have started to emerge challenging authority of the group.
A number of Kashimri leaders from the Pakistani side visiting Srinagar indicated the party was not the sole representative of the people of the province as other groups also enjoyed popular support, especially in Jammu and Ladakh.