Noorani’s retort to Geelani

Srinagar, May 17: Legal luminary and noted author A G Noorani Friday said he was astonished to see the statement of Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani attacking his speech at the launch of the book “The Kashmir Dispute”.
Noorani Friday issued a counter-statement which states; “I was astonished and shocked when, on the evening of 16 May, a distinguished journalist informed me that Syed Ali Shah Geelani had issued a statement attacking my speech at the launch of my book the previous day. I had fixed an appointment to meet him the very next day - 17 May - explicitly to present to him a copy of my book.
In all fairness and decency, he ought to have waited till we met and indeed, till he had read the book. He did neither. I did what self-respect demanded. I phoned Mr Geelani to seek confirmation of the fact of his statement and informed him of my refusal to meet him.
My decision to do so was confirmed when I read his statement in Greater Kashmir the next day. It was not criticism of the kind which Mr Abdul Rahim Rather and some others made in dignified language on my charge of rigging in the last elections. Mr Geelani has responded viciously in the manner politicians do to opponents by casting personal aspersions and uttering falsehood. This to a friend of 20 years’ standing.
Mr Geelani accuses me of a “deliberate attempt to distort the facts regarding history and Kashmir issue; an aspersion beneath contempt. He next asserts that Mr M A Jinnah was “not against the plebiscite proposal”. But what he adds immediately thereafter flatly contradicts him. He says “when plebiscite proposal reached Jinnah for the first time, he took the stand owing to the partition principle. J&K has 85 percent Muslim population and hence the state should go with Pakistan. Jinnah also stated that there was no need for plebiscite as J&K should be part of Pakistan if partition principles would be applied.”
What else does this direct transfer mean if not rejection of plebiscite?
We are next told that Jinnah “later accepted the proposal for plebiscite on the condition that Indian forces and tribals should vacate Kashmir and Governors General  of India and Pakistan should take over control of J&K and hold plebiscite without any delay.”
Significantly, no details are given as to when Jinnah declared plebiscite to be unnecessary and when “later” he relented conditionally. Glossed over is Jinnah’s consistent assertion that it was the ruler who had the right to decide on the accession. He did so on 13 June and 30 July 1947. He accepted the accession of Junagadh, a Hindu majority state, and strongly urged Hyderabad not to accede to India. In so many words he asked the Nizam to opt for martyrdom as Imam Hussain (RA) did.
Mr Geelani should stick to the record of my speech. All I had said was that on 1 November 1947, Lord Mountbatten presented to Jinnah a written proposal for plebiscite in all the states where the rulers’ religion was different from that of his people. Jinnah objected to the inclusion of Hyderabad and thus sacrificed Kashmir at the altar of Hyderabad. The document was presented at Government House, Lahore. Anyone literate enough to read can study its text reproduced at page 147 in Volume-I of my book. Incidentally, plebiscite in Kashmir was to be conducted jointly by the forces of India and Pakistan. Mr Geelani is utterly ignorant of the record.
Unlike Mr Geelani I have no axe to grind. The real reason for his attack emerges immediately after his accusation “we also reject his idea of four point proposal”. The personal vilification is designed to discredit that proposal. He is entitled to reject the proposal. But he should not have attacked me personally.
His ire was aroused in a detailed discussion of the proposal at a lunch I hosted at New Delhi on 6 March this year. Hence the hasty statement ahead of our meeting, can silence his followers but none else.
I have no wish to distract him (Geelani) in his dreams. No country in the world including Pakistan, regards the UN resolutions as relevant today. But that and much else can be debated in a civil manner.
My espousal of Kashmiris’ cause since 1962 long precedes Geelani’s foray into politics.
The hard-line “all or nothing” proposal shuts the door to conciliation and compromise. It may suit our “supreme leader” but the down-trodden oppressed people of Kashmir would continue to suffer.”

Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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