Srinagar, June 5: Senior religious and separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Wednesday urged India and Pakistan to start “a new chapter” and told the Modi government that the Kashmir issue needed “a peaceful and political solution”.
Delivering the Eid sermon at the historic Jamia Masjid in the old city’s Nowhatta area here, Mirwaiz Umar said: “We want to remind the new political dispensation in India that the Kashmir issue is a reality which cannot be wisher away.
“It needs a peaceful and political solution. We are ready to extend a helping hand and support a peaceful dialogue between the two countries,” he said.
“We demand that the present military approach against our youth be stopped.
“I pray that today’s Eid, being celebrated in the entire sub-continent, should bring the message of peace, friendship, well being and prosperity for the people of India, Pakistan and Kashmir.
“We pray that the people of India and Pakistan start a new chapter today, forgetting the bitterness and mistrust of the past.
“The people of Jammu and Kashmir and their leadership wants that we should become a bridge of friendship between the two countries.
“We demand and expect that all the CBMs like Srinagar-Muzaffarabad trade, people-to-people contacts which have been put on hold are restored. We don’t expect these CBMs to be restored only between the two parts of Kashmir but want such CBMs to be announced between India and Pakistan as well.”