What stops Omar from repealing PSA: Wajahat
‘India, Pak Should Allow Kashmiris To Express Themselves’
New Delhi, Mar 30: National Minority Commission (NMC) chairman Wajahat Habibullah has said the draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and J&K Public Safety Act (PSA) have no place in a democratic system such as India. He said the Government of India should allow the people of J&K to decide how they want to be governed. At the same time he wondered as to what stops J&K Government from repealing PSA which is its own creation.
Participating in Kashmir interactive session at the two day conference on India-Pakistan Civil Society Review of Strategic Relations here on Friday, he discounted the view that India and Pakistan are not willing to discuss the bilateral issues and those related to Kashmir dispute.
Habibullah defended delay in making public the report of three interlocutors on Kashmir. It has been delayed due to disturbances in Parliament where it is to be first presented. Its contents are not so earth-shaking that the Government of India will keep it under wraps, he observed.
Ejaz Haider, Executive Director, Jinnah Institute, Pakistan, said the Kashmir issue has been subsumed by the larger problems of Indo-Pak relations. Stating that the then President of Pakistan Gen Parvez Musharraf had adopted a right track by moving the issue away from territory to the people, he said that presently the focus has been shifted from those initiatives.
Further elaborating on the issue, he said that Musharraf’s initiative did not focus on political sovereignty of either India or Pakistan that provided elbow space to the two sides to move forward. In the event of bringing in the issues that relate to sovereignty the two countries immediately fall back on their stated positions, he observed and added: “Musharraf’s approach gave necessary face-saver to both sides. It helped them move towards a solution.”
Reflecting on the scope of Indo-Pak peace initiative, he felt that the former will not engage Islamabad under the prevailing conditions in Pakistan due to political and strategic reasons. At the same time, he described New Delhi’s approach towards Kashmir problem as “high-handed and cussed”.
He felt that the Kashmir issue can be resolved easily provided the political will is there which is lacking in all sides. “We want the Kashmiris to get back their dignity and self-respect. India has to address this central issue,” he said while stating that the 1948 movement in Kashmir was an indigenous one and not fomented by Pakistan.
Intervening briefly, Engineer Rashid, MLA, said that the realities of Kashmir should be accepted and that elections are not a solution to the problem. “Both India and Pakistan are confused over Kashmir. They lack will to resolve the problem,” he felt.
Earlier, former Vice-Chancellor of Islamic University of Science and Technology, Kashmir, Siddiq Wahid said that the civil society should advocate that India and Pakistan allow Kashmiris to express themselves. This has not happened so far.
He said there is need to focus on three Ts - Firstly, Truth; All parties must accept truth about J&K. Transparency; In this regard one must take into account, from Pakistan perspective, what is happening in Gilgit, Baltistan and PaK. In the Indian context it should be illustrated as to why the interlocutors report has not been made public. And finally, Trust between Delhi-Islamabad, Delhi-J&K and Islamabad-J&K should be built.
Participating in another session on terrorism Pervez Hoodbhoy, professor of Nuclear and High Energy Physics, Pakistan, said that an alarming trend has set-in in that country through acceptance of the militants as being a political force. A more dangerous trend is building up in the shape of conflict between various sects.
Former BSF DG E N Rammohan said that reasons must be found out as to why people take up guns. “One must be scrupulously legal while dealing with insurgency which I had steadfastly followed while fighting insurgency and militancy in North-East and Kashmir,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 30 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 30 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 31 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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