ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has called for a step-by-step approach to finding out a just solution to the longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

“Time has come to gradually take concrete steps to move forward towards a permanent solution of the complicated Kashmir issue,” he told a press conference here on Friday.

He, however, stressed that no solution to the issue under the Indian constitution would be acceptable to the Kashmiris.

He described the proposals of demilitarization and self-governance as positive but said these could be confidence-building measures (CBMs) but not permanent solution to the issue. He however hastened to add that these could lead towards a durable resolution of the issue.

He said autonomy and self-rule in Kashmir were different things which must not be confused. He said the Kashmiris “reject autonomy under the framework of the Indian constitution but self-rule is something different from that”.

Answering a question, he said Kashmiri leadership had not withdrawn from its principled stand which they took according to the UN Security Council resolution but it was unfortunate that no positive movement had been made during the last 57 years by the UN to resolve the issue.

He said it was time all parties concerned honestly analyzed the ground realities to get positive results.

He said there was no difference of opinion between Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership for the solution of Kashmir issue. He said the APHC delegation “has held constructive discussion” with the Pakistani leadership on these proposals and hoped forward movement on these proposals “can help in moving towards a lasting solution of the issue.

Responding to another question, Mr Umer Farooq described the peace process between India and Pakistan as a positive step but expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of process. He urged the need of expediting the peace process and making it meaningful and result-oriented to resolve the longstanding Kashmir issue once and for all.

He said there was also visible change in the Indian attitude regarding the solution of Kashmir issue and now it was talking about the permanent solution.

He said India was also talking to the APHC as a party. “These talks are not on elections or political incentives, but to discuss the contours of a final

Autonomy, self-rule must not be confused solution to the problem,” he added.

He said the European Union, United States, United Kingdom and other big powers have realized that durable peace in South Asia was not possible without resolving Kashmir issue.

He said Pakistan had made tremendous efforts on diplomatic level. The flexibility it had shown was now helping in increasing international pressure on India to move towards Kashmir issue’s permanent solution.

He hoped that triangular dialogue between Pakistan, India and the Kashmiri leadership will change into tripartite dialogue to reach an acceptable solution to the issue. He, however, said that no permanent solution of the issue “can be achieved without meeting the aspirations of the Kashmiri people”.

He called upon India to stop atrocities and human rights violations in the occupied valley and urged the Amnesty International to have a close watch on the human rights abuses in Kashmir.

He said implementation of demilitarization idea would mean reduction in the Indian forces in the valley and a subsequent decrease in the level of Indian atrocities. He stressed that demilitarization was something in the interest of the Kashmiris.

He said gradual withdrawal of troops was also a requirement under the relevant UN resolutions on Kashmir.