SEPARATISTS JUBILANT

Mainstream Guarded

ARIF SHAFI WANI

Srinagar, Nov 8: While the separatist leaders welcomed US president Barack Obama’s statement on Kashmir saying it is the endorsement of Kashmiris’ sacrifices, the mainstream parties maintain that the issue has to be resolved bilaterally between India and Pakistan and America can’t act as a mediator.

ENDORSEMENT OF SACRIFICES: GEELANI
Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani while welcoming Obama’s statement said he has acknowledged the “reality” that Kashmir is a long-standing dispute and needs resolution.
“Obama has endorsed our stand on Kashmir. He has not made the statement in isolation. It is the result of martyrdom of 112 youth and teenagers and unflinching sacrifices rendered by people of Kashmir particularly during the peaceful movement of the past five months,” Geelani said.
The veteran leader said it is high time for India to adopt a realistic approach on Kashmir. “India must shun its unrealistic stand of projecting Kashmir as its Atoot Aang (integral part). It must acknowledge Kashmir’s disputed nature and amicably resolve it according to the aspirations and sacrifices rendered by the people by giving them the right to self-determination,” he added.
Geelani said the right to self-determination has been promised to the people of Jammu and Kashmir through several resolutions of various bodies of the United Nations and accepted by both India and Pakistan. “Unfortunately, Kashmir for a long time has been perceived to be a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan and remained hostage to geo-politics of the cold war era. The unprecedented mobilization of Kashmir deserves an immediate response,” he said.
Elaborating he said further indifference of the world towards the resolution of Kashmir may plunge it into another cycle of violence.
“Such an eventuality does not auger well neither for Kashmiri nor for the world at large. World has paid a heavy price for its indifference towards Afghanistan. Ramifications of any conflict don’t remain confined to a specific territory within globalized world. World has to focus on Kashmir issue in its own interest.” he maintained.

US KEY PLAYER: MALIK
Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik while hailing Obama’s statement, said Kashmiris respected the aspirations of United States and international community by making a transition from violent to non-violent movement for right to self-determination.
“By this virtue the international community including the US is bound to make efforts for resolution of Kashmir dispute. Kashmiris displayed a positive approach in 2008 by starting a peaceful struggle. Though during the period, Kashmiris faced violence from other front sbut did not leave the path of non-violence. US and other states which enjoy cordial relations with India and Pakistan should intensify efforts to resolve the dispute which has consumed three generations of Kashmiris,” Malik said.
Malik said that Kashmir is not a border dispute between India and Pakistan. “But it concerns future of lakhs of Kashmiris who are the primary party to the dispute. India and Pakistan should respect the aspirations and sentiments of Kashmiris and their peace and prosperity depends on resolution of the dispute. I want to make it clear that the dispute can only be amicably resolved with the active participation of Kashmiris. In this regard, America has to play an imperative role,” he said.
The pro-freedom leaders including Javaid Ahmad Mir and Nayeem Ahmad Khan also welcomed Obama’s statement saying it is vindication of Kashmiris demands.

ENDORSEMENT OF OUR DEMAND: MIRWAIZ
Welcoming Obama’s statement, the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said it has been the conglomerate’s persistent demand for third party facilitation to remove trust deficit between India and Pakistan.
“Kashmir dispute has been lingering due to trust deficit between India and Pakistan. As bilateral efforts have failed to resolve the dispute, we had launched the signature campaign to seek US intervention. We have been successful to draw Obama’s attention towards the dispute and hope that he will help to carry forward the dialogue process and pave way for resolution of Kashmir according to the aspirations and wishes of Kashmiris,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz said Obama made an indirect reference to implementation of UN resolution on Kashmir while backing India for a permanent seat for the United Nations Security Council.
“Obama maintained that increased power means greater responsibility and said it is mandatory for the Security Council’s future members to ensure implementations of its resolutions. This is an indirect reference to India which is a signatory to UN resolutions on Kashmir which are yet to be implemented,” he said.
Mirwaiz exuded hope that Obama will appoint a special envoy on Kashmir and in the first phase help to revoke the special powers to the India troopers operating in Kashmir, facilitate demilitarization and release all the political prisoners.
Pertinently, Mirwaiz on Sunday as a symbolic gesture has dispatched over two lakh signed petitions to the US Embassy in New Delhi to seek Washington’s third party facilitation for resolving the dispute.
“US must ensure that participation and interests of Kashmiris are paramount in any measure aimed at resolving the dispute,” Mirwaiz said.

NC WELCOMES
The National Conference General Secretary Sheikh Nazir Ahmad lauded Obama’s statement saying the party is hopeful that India and Pakistan will solve their disputes peacefully.
“We welcome US president’s statement about Indo-Pak friendship and are hopeful that the two nations will solve all their disputes, including Kashmir in an amicable and peaceful atmosphere,” Ahmad said.
He said the key to peace in Kashmir lies in the friendly relations between India and Pakistan.
“NC has always acted like a bridge between the two countries to promote friendship between India and Pakistan and has worked to strengthen the Indo-Pak relations,” he said.

STATED POSITION: PDP
The PDP chief spokesman, Naeem Akhtar, said the need for resolution of Kashmir can never be overemphasized. “That has been our persistent view and especially the current scenario would demand things to be done with urgency,” he said.
Asked how the party saw Obama statement that the US was ready to intervene in Kashmir if India and Pakistan wish so, Akhtar said: “That is nothing new. That has been a persistent view of United States. It is their stated position on Kashmir.”

BILATERAL ISSUE: CONGRESS
The senior Congress leader, Taj Mohi-ud-Din said Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. “It has been the stand of UPA Government that Kashmir has to be resolved by India and Pakistan. America cannot mediate in the issue, however it can impress upon Pakistan to shun its rigid stand and pave way for Kashmir resolution,” Taj stated.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST




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