Kashmiris not fighting for jobs: Separatists
Political Initiative Should Be Priority: Mainstream
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Aug 10: The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech has evoked mixed reaction here with the separatist leaders maintaining that jobs and economic packages can’t be substitute to the right of self-determinations while the mainstream parties see it as an opportunity to restore peace in the Valley.
The chairman of Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani said there was nothing new in the PM’s speech. “The Indian PM has spoken many words on Kashmir but neglected the real issue for which Kashmiris have taken to streets and rendered countless sacrifices. I want to maintain that jobs and economic packages can’t be substitute to the right of self-determinations of Kashmiris,” Geelani said.
Geelani said if the PM was serious, he should have accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory. “It was the legal and moral responsibility of the PM to implement the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir. It was India which took the dispute to the UN and the PM is legally bound to implement the resolutions,” he said.
The veteran leader said instead of withdrawal of troopers, New Delhi sent more troopers to the Valley to quell the movement. “The PM has failed to accept the ground realities that Kashmiris want freedom from India. Kashmiris are not sacrificing their lives for jobs. India can’t afford to neglect this reality for long and hoodwink the international community about the aspirations of Kashmiris,” Geelani said.
The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the PM looked upon the Kashmir dispute from the prism of economics.
“Kashmir is not an economic but a political problem concerning the aspirations of Kashmiris. Ironically, the PM treated it as an economic problem rather a Centre-State issue. The Kashmir dispute can’t be resolved unless people are given the right to self-determination,” Mirwaiz maintained.
He said the aspirations of Kashmiris were no different from the aspirations of people of India and Pakistan when they fought against the British.
Mirwaiz said it was high time to resolve the dispute. “We don’t want peace of graveyard but solution and to pave way for it. We have been demanding to acknowledge Kashmir as a dispute, release of all political prisoners and withdrawal of troopers from the Valley. Kashmiris are sacrificing their lives for their basic rights. It is high time to act and not talk,” he said.
The president of opposition PDP, Mehbooba Mufti said the PDP has always maintained that the PM had to intervene because he has the credibility in the state after investing in the peace process.
“It was for the first time that the PM spoke about the Kashmir situation since the killing of 52 people and injuries to hundreds of them. Nonetheless we welcome the PM’s statement about initiating a political process but we hope it will be inclusive and serious efforts will be put in to take it to the logical conclusion,” she said.
Regarding the economic package, she said there was no denying the fact that Kashmir needs economic support from the Government of India.
“However, we have been receiving such packages for the past six decades but this time the priority should be initiation of a political process to find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue. Economic packages can only be fruitful if you have a peaceful environment,” she said.
She demanded that the Government should fix responsibility about the killing of Kashmiris and justice should be provided to the bereaved families. Terming release of the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman as a positive step, she asked Government to release all the political detainees and those arrested for their alleged involvement in stone-pelting.
Pertinently the PDP had preferred to stay away from the all party delegation from Jammu and Kashmir that met the PM today.
Senior National Conference leader and MP Mehboob Beig while welcoming the PM’s statement said it was high time for New Delhi to engage the separatists in dialogue and resolve the Kashmir issue.
“There has been always a huge mistrust between New Delhi and Srinagar. This is mainly because New Delhi failed to act on various recommendations including the autonomy document. Though the PM has promised a lot in his speech but it is time to act at the earliest,” he said.
Beig exuded hope that New Delhi will engage all shades of opinion for talks with honour and dignity. “You can not ignore Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He appealed the people to stage peaceful protests and they are happening. He also appealed to youngsters not to pelt stones and they are following him. So let us face the reality. New Delhi has to engage the separatists for finding a political solution to the problem,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 10 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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