Pathankot attack bid to derail talks, says APHC

NEW DELHI: The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) condemned on Wednesday the violent terrorist attack on an Indian airbase in Pathankot and called it a conspiracy to derail talks between Islamabad and New Delhi.

APHC Chairman Mirwaiz Maulvi Umar Farooq told Dawn from Srinagar that the gunmen responsible for the carnage — mostly suspected to belong to the banned Jaish-i-Mohammed group — “were elements who seek to vitiate the atmosphere” between the two countries.

A meeting of the APHC’s Executive Council chaired by Maulvi Farooq and attended by executive members Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza and Muhammad Musadiq Adil condemned the attack.

Describing the resumption of dialogue process between India and Pakistan as an encouraging development, the meeting resolved that the positive steps that India and Pakistan had taken over the past month towards the resumption of the dialogue process should be fully supported.

“It is highly positive to see that these efforts have been led at the highest levels of political leadership both in India and Pakistan and that the two prime ministers have personally committed themselves towards the pursuit of peace. We appreciate their courage and we urge them to take the peace process forward in a bold way and to focus on taking bold steps to resolve issues, especially the main issue of Kashmir,” the APHC said.

“At this moment, we would like to express our deep concern over the recent attack in Pathankot,” it said. “As we have seen in the past, whenever there is a serious effort made by India and Pakistan to resolve issues, incidents like this have been taking place with the aim to derail the dialogue process. The elements who seek to vitiate the atmosphere and derail dialogue process are working against the interests of the people of South Asia. Keeping in mind the nuclear dimension, such incidents can jeopardise the very future of the region, and have the potential to trigger a serious crisis between India and Pakistan.”

The Hurriyat resolution said that despite the challenges ahead, it was urged that the prime ministers of India and Pakistan should carry forward the peace efforts and dialogue process in a visionary way.

“It is important that the dialogue process is not allowed to get derailed. We appreciate the efforts by the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers to cooperate to ensure the creation of a positive atmosphere for dialogue. They must resolve to carry forward and work together to try rid the region of conflict and violence.”

The resolution emphasised that the leadership of India and Pakistan “should actively involve all the stakeholders so that the dialogue process has maximum support from every side. It is important that, to succeed, the process needs broad support from the political opposition and general public in both countries. The people of Jammu and Kashmir who are the primary stakeholder have to be involved in any successful dialogue process aimed at resolving the Kashmir issue.”

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