Kashmir Committee bats for cordial Indo-Pak relations
People Should Be Ready For sacrifices: Jethmalani
Jammu, July 23: Stressing the need for maintaining “cordial relations” with Pakistan, Kashmir Committee headed by noted lawyer and BJP Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani on Saturday said that people of both the neighbouring countries “should be ready for any kind of sacrifice” to ensure peace and tranquility in the region.
“Kashmir Committee is of firm stand that there should be friendly relations with the Pakistan and we (India and Pakistan) should be ready for any kind of sacrifice for maintaining long lasting peace and prosperity in the region. We are in constant contact with the people in Pakistan and people there too want peace and cordial relations with India,” Jethmalani told reporters here.
He said that he recently visited Pakistan and met the President and the Chief Justice of the country. “People in neighbouring country also want friendly ties with India. We know they (Pakistan) continued its enmity with India on the instigation of the China. It (Pakistan) has realized the ill-intentions of China as the latter has taken away a major portion of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) in its possession,” he said.
“Both the nations have developed differences now which aptly suit for Indo-Pak friendship gaining more momentum,” said Jethmalani adding that Kashmir Committee’s main motive is to develop a meaningful ‘no-war pact’ between two countries.
“A consensus emerged during our talks with Pakistan premiership and also with the people in valley that has pointed towards a need for sacrifice from both the sides to let peace usher in the region,” Jethmalani said. He, however, kept his cards closed over “sacrifices”
Deliberating on “internal problems” of Kashmir issue, the noted lawyer lashed out at the ruling regime saying, “If the government of Kashmir is not able to satisfy the people about good governance, justice and fair play, essence of discrimination—intentional or unintentional--that gives India a bad name.”
“People around the world will say that India has formed a government in Jammu and Kashmir but the people are against it. Other states should be kept away from Kashmir as the state of Kashmir holds special responsibility and it should be very fair and efficient in dealing with the people,” he said.
“We have received of reports of discrimination in Jammu on issues like allocation of funds and non-compliance of their demands for Central University for which students were brutally cane-charged which was very unfortunate,” he said.
Asked about the credibility of Kashmir Committee in wake of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s statement that it did not hold any locus standi, Jethmalani said, “Our 11-year-old committee kept quiet after we were told that they were doing their best to find a solution to the problem. They asked us that we (committee) were interfering in their affairs. We revived the Committee because they could not succeed.”
Over the appointment of three Interlocutors on Kashmir, he remarked, “When they (interlocutors) were appointed we wished them success but we have not heard any significant success as yet. We are doing useful work and are not obstructing anybody’s work.”
Asked about separatist leaders staying away from dialogue with Interlocutors, Jethmalani narrated the incident of having made a visible dent in the Hurriyat Conference that brought Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s ire for him.
“Our committee was the first that had broken the ice and we are very hopeful of managing a meaningful dialogue with the separatists in near future too,” he said.
Earlier, three-member Kashmir Committee met a cross-section of people and sought their views on the Kashmir issue on the second day of their visit here.
Jethmalani along with former diplomat V K Grover and rights activist Madhu Kishwar met lawyers, social groups and Kashmiri migrants, besides Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) members in this winter capital of the state.
They visited the J&K High Court Complex and held interactions with the members of Bar Association Jammu (BAJ) here.
A BJP delegation led by state president Shamsher Singh Manhas held an hour-long meeting with Kashmir Committee. Other members of the committee included Nirmal Singh, Jitendra Singh, Jugal Kishore Sharma and Sat Sharma.
Making a strong point for the abrogation of Article-370, the BJP representatives suggested an open debate to discuss merits and demerits as well as advantages and disadvantages of this article.
They were of the opinion that not only Jammu and Ladakh but even the people of Kashmir have been at a disadvantage because of Article-370.
BJP delegation submitted a written memorandum to the Kashmir Committee in which it stated that there was dire need of building the confidence of those who have constantly suffered due to Pakistan’s military attempts on Jammu and Kashmir.
Certain specific measures were suggested by the BJP delegation which included setting up of Provincial Councils in both Jammu & Kashmir provinces with adequate administrative and financial powers, grant of Union Territory status to Ladakh and Delimitation of the state assembly and parliament seats as per the principles given in People’s Representation Act.
The Kashmir Committee, a non-official panel, is working out to find a solution to the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, almost in a parallel exercise to that being conducted by three central government-appointed interlocutors.
Earlier, the panel undertook two visits to the Kashmir Valley, where the members met leaders of the separatist groups, including hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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