Futile move: Separatists
NC Welcomes; PDP Mum
ARIF SHAFI/FAHEEM ASLAM
Srinagar, Oct 13: Rejecting the appointment of a team of three interlocutors headed by a journalist as a futile exercise, senior pro-freedom leaders on Wednesday accused New Delhi of being non-serious to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
While the Chairman of Hurriyat (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani refused to be part of the dialogue process unless his five demands are met, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik suggested forming an all-party delegation of Parliamentarians of India and Pakistan to pave way for resolution of the dispute.
“I won’t participate in any kind of talks unless India accepts my 5-point proposal including acknowledging Kashmir as a dispute, withdraw its troopers from the state and release all political prisoners and youth languishing in jails,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir.
Geelani said since 1952 there have been talks over 150 times on the dispute. “However they have not yielded any results because the aspirations of Kashmiris and root cause of the dispute has been neglected. Ironically, while extending talks offer India has always been reiterating that Kashmir is its integral part. It is not acceptable to Kashmiris who have been rendering unflinching sacrifices since 1947 for the right to self-determination,” he said.
Geelani also questioned the credentials of the three interlocutors appointed by the Home Ministry. “If India accepts our demands, then they should assign the job of interlocutors to such persons who are abreast with the historical perspective of the Kashmir dispute and aspirations of the Kashmiris,” he said.
ADDING INSULT TO INJURY: MALIK
The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik termed the engagement of interlocutors as adding insult to the injury of Kashmiris. Malik said he had told the All Party Delegation of Parliament that during the past 63 years, dialogues have failed to pave way for Kashmir resolution.
“We had told the delegation that the Kashmir dispute has consumed four generations and it was high time for New Delhi to shun its rigid stand and respect the aspirations of Kashmiris. We apprised them that the credibility of the institution of dialogue has been eroded and people want solution. However, by announcing the interlocutors, India has added insult to the injury of Kashmiris,” Malik said.
However, Malik maintained that he does not doubt the integrity or credibility of the interlocutors. “The question is of deliverance and authority to take important decisions. We have already suggested formation of a high-power political committee comprising politicians from India and Pakistan to permanently resolve the dispute by taking aspirations of Kashmiris into consideration,” he said.
IMPROVE GROUND SITUATION FIRST: MIRWAIZ
The Chairman of Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also rejected the appointment of interlocutors saying it was high time for implementation of the Confidence Buildings Measures suggested by the conglomerate.
“The need of the hour is to improve the ground situation in the Valley before initiation of talks. On one hand India wants to revive the talks and on the other arrests and harassment of Kashmiris is going on unabated. We have given four-point proposals to improve situation in the Valley but it has met with deaf ears and troopers and cops are leaving no stone unturned to crush the ongoing movement,” he said.
Mirwaiz termed the appointment of interlocutors as a mere waste of time. He said, “In the past, many interlocutors and committees led by KC Pant and Ram Jehtmalani had been formed. But they too failed in their endeavour. In the past we have talked to the level of Prime Minister. I want to maintain that we are not seeking concessions but solution. This demands involvement of the stakeholders at the highest level. Kashmir dispute has reached such a stage where it has to be resolved by the leadership of India, Pakistan and Kashmir in accordance with aspirations of Kashmiris,” he said.
Mirwaiz said it was high time for forming the All Party delegation of Parliaments of both India and Pakistan to talk to Kashmiris and pave way for resolution of the long-standing dispute.
NC WELCOMES; PDP MUM
The central government’s announcement of the interlocutors for a dialogue on Kashmir Wednesday evoked mixed response from the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
While the ruling National Conference welcomed the development, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party preferred to remain silent, though it had welcomed the 8-point initiative that New Delhi announced for Kashmir last month.
ACT FAST: NC
“It (announcement of interlocutors) is a welcome development,” said the senior National Conference leader and Member Parliament, Dr Mehboob Beg. “The persons selected for the job have an open mind about Kashmir.”
Beg, however, cautioned that the interlocutors must not take much time to get back to the Government of India with their recommendations about the resolution of the Kashmir issue as it would be too risky. “They must start work immediately and restore the credibility of the dialogue process, which as of now stands eroded,” he said, asserting that the interlocutors must address the Kashmir issue in a “time-bound” manner.
The National Conference leader asserted that it was essential that the interlocutors talk to those who spearhead the peaceful protests in Kashmir. “It is important to see whom they would be talking to. They must talk to those who are spearheading the peaceful protests in Kashmir for the past five months. Talking to people in Jammu and Ladakh would be okay, but the primary issue is Kashmir,” Dr Beg said. “Dialogue is the only way out to resolve all the issues. And I think the separatists must talk to the interlocutors as doing so won’t lower their credibility, but ensure that they believe in the peaceful and meaningful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through the process of dialogue.”
Dr Beg warned that if the interlocutors failed to address the Kashmir issue, people would be pushed to the wall. “And that will be more dangerous,” he said.
NO COMMENTS: PDP
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which had welcomed centre’s 8-point initiative on Kashmir last month, preferred to remain silent on the announcement of the interlocutors. “We will study the development and then respond,” said the PDP’s chief spokesman, Naeem Akhtar, when asked how the party viewed the development.
NOT SATISFIED: CPM
The CPI(M) termed the development as “unsatisfactory”, asserting that it may not serve the purpose for which it has been constituted.
“Although we have full faith in the integrity and honesty of the people who have been named as interlocutors, we have been all along vehemently demanding constitution of a Parliamentary panel in view of the political nature of the present crisis,” CPI(M) state secretary M Y Tarigami said, in a statement here.
He said the initiatives taken by the Centre in the past to hold dialogue with the “voices of dissent” in Kashmir have suffered due to trust and credibility deficit.
“The institution of dialogue deserves a serious approach, keeping in view the sensitivities embedded in the Kashmir issue,” he said.
Tarigami said he was expecting the Centre to form the group of interlocutors, while taking into consideration the experiences regarding the dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir.
“But it seems yet again, a casual approach has been adopted much to the disappointment of those who are eager to address the issue through the process of dialogue and debate,” he added.
Keeping in view the magnitude and nature of the present crisis in the state, Tarigami said CPI(M) had suggested constitution of a Parliamentary panel assisted by experts as interlocutors, which could have proved more effective in initiating dialogue with all shades of political opinion in the state.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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