Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Separatists meet Hina

Ageing hardline Kashmir separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was quite blunt in telling visiting young Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar that he disapproves of her country’s exploring alternative settlement and short-cuts on Kashmir dispute, deviating from the traditional stand of "right to self-determination."

She made it clear that Pakistan has no interest to return to former president Pervez Musahrraf’s four-point formula or any other recipe that is seen as undesirable by the Kashmiri separatist leadership. She said Pakistan will not override sentiments and aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Geelani also told her at the Pakistan High Commission here in a 90-minute interaction that Pakistan’s internal situation was a source of concern for him as well as Kashmiris back home and wanted to know what steps its government is taking to stop frequent attacks on its cities and people.

Two delegations, one led by Geelani and another by a seven-member team of moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq met Khar separately.

Chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference said dialogue and bullets cannot go hand-in-hand. He said onus for progress on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir squarely lies with New Delhi, as it has to show some accommodation in Kashmir. 
Talking to reporters, after his group met Pakistan Foreign Minister, he said that Kashmir was not a bilateral issue, but concerned people of Kashmir. He also called for inclusion of voice and aspirations of people in the discourse.
Reminding  that his faction was never against talks as they had held meetings with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and earlier L. K. Advani, when he was deputy prime minister, Mirwaiz said "we backed out when we saw nothing was moving ahead."  He asked India to come out of Mumbai syndrome and talk on other matters substantively. Admitting that issue of Kashmir was complex and difficult, but said the progress on the issue was necessary for peace.

FAI'S ARREST: Mirwaiz told reporters that his delegation shared its concern with the Pakistani foreign minister over the arrest of Kashmiri American Council's chief Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai in Washington last week dubbing him as an ISI agent.
He said such acts are "shrinking constituency of peace" while everyone is interested in a peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute.

Geelani told the Pakistani minister that he was not against dialogue but history has shown that India uses the instrument of dialogue only to "hoodwink" the world opinion and impose a more restrictive regime in Kashmir.

"We are given no space even to breathe. I was under house arrest for over past 10 days. Even orders of judiciary are openly flaunted. India’s attitude becomes harsher under the garb of dialogue with Pakistan," he told reporters after his meeting.
Though he accepted Pakistan’s support to Kashmir cause and its ramifications on the country, Geelani said he advised the Pakistani minister not to take any hasty step. "Any solution in haste and a compromise will not be acceptable to us," he said, pointing out that Kashmir is not just a border dispute but it concerns the people.

He called for inclusion of genuine Kashmiri leadership to make dialogue "purposeful" and "meaningful." He said the Pakistan foreign minister agreed that for the credibility of the dialogue process to make it result-oriented the Kashmiri leadership should also be involved in the process.

Geelani also asked Pakistan to attend its domestic problems in Baluchistan, Karachi and the issue of Taliban, who are frequently attacking its cities and people. He said Pakistan’s internal situation was a source of concern for him as well as Kashmiris back home. 

He also touched the raw nerve of Pakistan, saying his right to self determination involves not only Hindus and Budhists in Jammu and Kashmir but also the areas of Gilgit, Baltistan and Muzaffarabad as well, whom Pakistan calls Azad Kashmir.
Expressing concern at the internal situation of Pakistan, he told Pakistani government to gurantee and work towards protecting life and property of people in Baluchistan. "Only your development works of words are not enough," he said. He also had a piece of advice on targeting killing in Karachi. "Why you are not confiscating arms and ammunition in that city?" he asked the Pak minister. He also said while the acts of Taliban were unacceptable as per human and Islamic values, Islamabad should settle the issue through dialogue and reconciliation.

No comments:

Post a Comment