Mirwaiz Umer Farooq led Hurriyat Conference on Tuesday said that fresh engagement between India and Pakistan indicates positive shift in the relations between the two nuclear neighbours, but it can’t bear fruit unless there is change in ground situation in Kashmir.

The Hurriyat claimed that fresh thaw between two countries is being observed with anticipation by the people of J&K, who are striving for the resolution of the Kashmir conflict for the past seven decades. They demanded immediate release of all political prisoners, stopping random arrests, slapping of Public Safety Act and intimidation by the agencies.

“We greatly welcome the shift towards good neighbourly relations between the two countries and see it as the first step in the direction of a meaningful dialogue for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict,” read the statement. The Hurriyat Conference stated that agreement by India and Pakistan to adhere to the cease fire on the Line of Control and the subsequent statements and action by the two countries is a welcome step.

However, Hurriyat said that it also believes that unless the situation on the ground in Kashmir is changed and an atmosphere free of fear, repression and human rights violations is not created, efforts at good neighbourly relations will not bear fruit.

“For change on ground all political prisoners and youth in jails and under house detention should be released. Random arrests and slapping of PSA on youth and policy of intimidation and harassment through agencies should be ended. Deaths and destruction during encounters, which is deeply disturbing, should be immediately stopped,” Hurriyat said.

The pro-resolution conglomerate reiterated that it always was and is ready to extend full support to all initiatives between the two countries that aim at bringing peace and prosperity to all the people of the subcontinent. “We seek a fair and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute,” it said. Mirwaiz has been under house arrest since August 5, 2019 and he was not allowed to address Friday congregation at historic Jama Masjid in downtown Srinagar since then.