Formation Of Common House Of Kashmiri Reps Suggested
9 November 2005
Islamabad: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Amanullah Khan has suggested immediate formation of a Common House of Representatives comprising elected members of AJK Assembly, Gilgit & Baltistan Legislative Council and Srinagar Assembly tasking it by Pakistan and India for preparation of consensus proposals aimed at settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan and India alone cannot solve this issue concerning the political fate of over 13 million Kashmiris, he added. In an exclusive all points interview with the Pakistan Observer here in his central office on Tuesday, Amanullah Khan said only an agreed Kashmiri-brand solution formula or proposals can bring nearer the stage of settlement of Kashmir dispute. Therefore to him the best possible wayout in the given regional scenario was the formation of a Common House of Kashmiri Representatives consisting of directly elected members of assemblies at Muzaffarabad, Gilgit and at Srinagar. That House should be assigned to discuss every aspect of the Kashmir issue, the regional scenario, aspirations of the Kashmiris within the State of J&K and in the diaspora abroad as well, and formulate an agreed framework of proposals for final Kashmir settlement, he added.Amanullah Khan who still stands his 'chosen' ground of an 'independent' Kashmir said in response to a volley of questions from the Pakistan Observer that 'whatever steps in the name of peaceful settlement of Kashmir might be taken by Islamabad and Delhi at their own ends, they won't evolve into any solid viable form unless the Kashmiris owned proposals were taken into serious considerations. In this regard the JKLF chairman suggested that alongside his proposal of a Common House the politicians of both parts of Kashmir, AJK and IHK, should also be allowed to visit freely both parts, sit together anywhere within the State and focus on ways towards Kashmir solution. Unless the effective 'voices' in the State are given political space in Kashmir initiatives the mere mutual sporadic meetings of common Kashmiris as are being facilitated in these days won't lend that much support to resolution efforts as can be given by the politicians of both sides, whether within or outside of respective assemblies at Muzaffarabad, Gilgit and Srinagar. 'Natwar Singh's ouster from Indian foreign ministry won't affect the running pace of Kashmir talks between Pakistan and India', was Amanullah's comments when his reaction was sought on this development. 'Natwar harbours anti-Pakistan image', he added. When asked his views on reopening of five points at the LoC he said that such a measure cannot bring about healing material change because of the time consuming process of ten days. 'I want to go to help my brothers affected by earthquake in IHK but under the procedure I should wait for ten days. Does adversity wait for time margins', he questioned. Asked how does he see the role of the new puppet chief minister of occupied Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad at this juncture of a dialogue atmosphere in this region, the JKLF chief said 'Azad does not enjoy popular influence among Kashmiris as did the outgoing chief minister Mufti Saeed. Azad remained in his whole life an Indian 'disciple'. Azad directly represents India in occupied Kashmir being a member of the Congress whereas Mufti was steering an exclusively Kashmiri political platform, the People's Democratic Party. Therefore the difference is obvious. Azad won't be able to break into the ranks of Kashmiri masses'. Amanullah Khan sees demilitarisation of Kashmir proposal of President Gen Pervez Musharraf as a positive step towards lessening the ordeals and tribulations of the Kashmiris but said: 'it in no way can be interpreted as a solution supportive step regarding the dispute of Kashmir'. When pressed to elaborate his point he explained: 'Supposing in response to this proposal the respective armies one day withdraw from respective regions of Kashmir. However the civil administrations in the respective parts will remain operative in their separate capacities. This will yield a sense of acceptance of division of Kashmir' 'this situation I fear may perpetuate of division of Kashmir', he added. JKLF chief disfavoured all Pak-India bilateral accords on Kashmir from Simla (1972) to Joint Statement of January 6, 2004 accusing that all these measures did not guarantee 'basic aspirations' of Kashmiris'. When asked as to what would be the modus operandi to guarantee Kashmiri aspirations, he reiterated his 'boxed' formula of 'uniting both parts of Kashmir in a just, free, honourable, democratic and independent dispensation for a period of 15 years. After this period a popular referendum with three options viz 'independence, accession to Pakistan or to India, or anyother solution' - should decide the political destiny of J&K state'. However his 'anyother solution' proposal seems in its present unelaborated form as a widest term which can accommodate any viewpoint ranging from geographic division to tripartite management of J&K state. Asked to sum up the outcome of a continued unresolved status of Kashmir purely in terms of economic losses or gains both for Pakistan or India or for the region as a whole, Amanullah Khan without any hesitation replied that: 'India had to lose the U.N. security council seat because of the unresolved dispute of Kashmir with Pakistan. The entire outside world said yes to the viewpoint of Pakistan on this question and India had had to wash off her hands to ascend the highest podium of the world. Other regional issues of economics and backwardness are also concomitants to this greater issue of Kashmir. This entire region has heavily paid in blood and bread the price of non-settlement of Kashmir'. Asked to divulge his personal dream of Kashmir, Amanullah Khan said: 'I am seeing the region of entire Kashmir gradually evolving into an independent region. But it is difficult to visualise at this stage as to the geographic shape of its 'independence' and when it would actually happen'. He disclosed that he could not visit occupied Kashmir either via passport or LoC crossing as India has already issued warrants to arrest him. India accuses Amanullah of multiple murders: of six officials of Indian airforce, Director Indian TV Lassah Kaul and vice- chancellor Srinagar University Musheerul Haq (1990). Amanullah plainly denies these accusations as ploy to stifle his political voice.