SRINAGAR: Separatist groups in Kashmir today welcomed Nawaz Sharif's address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where he raised the Kashmir issue saying the Pakistani Prime Minister adopted a "realistic stand".
Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in a statement, said, "The Pakistani Prime Minister adopted a realistic stand in UNGA by speaking about the persistent failure of the United Nations with regarding to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute."
Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq welcomed Sharif's statement and termed it as "a source of strength for the people of Kashmir that would encourage them towards carrying forward their struggle for self-determination".
"While Sharif had shown political maturity and his will to resolve issues with New Delhi, he had also exhibited flexibility toward resolving Kashmir issue and all other outstanding issues between the two countries in order to bring peace in the region," the Mirwaiz said.
JKLF chairman Yasin Malik said Sharif's proposals were "positive and reasonable". "Proposals like withdrawal of forces from Jammu Kashmir, resolution of Jammu Kashmir issue for peace and prosperity, accepting Kashmiris as prime party to the dispute etc are positive and reasonable," Malik said.
Using the podium of the UN, Sharif yesterday raked up the Kashmir issue, terming its non-resolution as a failure of the world body, and proposed a four-point "peace initiative" with India which includes demilitarisation of Kashmir.