Violence Takes Away Our Bargaining Power: Sajjad
11 January 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Claiming to carry certain inputs, if not the roadmap, along with him to New Delhi, for the talks with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on January, 14, People's Conference chairman, Sajjad Ghani Lone says that the problem basically lies in the status quo, which he defines as complete independence and complete merger with India or Pakistan and believes that solution to Kashmir imbroglio would be different.'The problem is basically depicted by these issues (Independence and accessions). Solution has to be different and it will be different,' says Sajjad. In a chat with the Excelsior, Sajjad said that he was always convinced that the dialogue process aimed at to resolve the Kashmir issue would be broadened. '....therefore no excitement but I am happy that the process is moving and the solution will emerge lately,' he adds, while terming invitation as a positive development. Sajjad while busy in convening meetings to finalise the PC delegation and a PC 'appraisal' to be tabled before Prime Minister said that five member delegation would accompany him to New Delhi for the talks. Sajjad demies that he carries solution to the problem with him. 'I have all along been advocating talks to resolve the issue and the invitation extended vindicates the belief of my party and moreso of my late father and PC founder Abdul Ghani Lone,' he says. He believes that contemporary generational perspective should be taken into consideration while framing a solution and history can only be taken as a reference to identify the problem. 'I am having a generational perspective of people of Jammu and Kashmir with me and don't rely on history for the solutions. History has the references and solution lies in contemporary outlook,' he believes. About reposing trust in New Delhi for holding talks, Sajjad says 'not reposing trust' in each other is the other dimension of the problem. 'While as Independence and accessions depict political contours of the problems, not trusting each other is the psychological curve of the problem graph. It is to be overcome and we (New Delhi and Kashmiris) have to trust each other,' says Sajjad, seen as the moderate separatist leader. When asked if he has any roadmap with him to New Delhi, Sajjad says that while agenda has not been fixed but road map, he adds, 'Will emerge out of the inputs and suggestions he carries with him.' Then he quickly adds that long term economics and development of the region would be the part of the political solution of Kashmir. He says that development and politics are intrinsically interwoven in each other and both should be thought at evenly. '...and I will discuss it with New Delhi,' he says. Does he mean holding a representative character to talk on behalf of people of J&K? 'No' he denies while adding, ' I have been close to the people by the means of holding public rallies and meetings. I have a fairer idea and assessment of what people want. Realistically it's not possible to be representative of entire populace.' Vis-a-Vis the much talked about and randomly roaming solutions like Mirwaiz's 'United States of Kashmir'. Musharraf's 'Self Governance' and NC's autonomy, Sajjad feels that while outside resolutions should not be outrightly rejected and debated over but indigenous solutions should also be thought of seriously. 'While autonomy is smaller than the problem and 'USK' I don't know what it is actually and Self Governance on the other hand seems attractive but on the ground level how it would look like is to be seen but academically it sounds good,' He says. Reiterating his disbelief in violence, Sajjad says that violence as on date is irrelevant and takes away the bargaining power of Kashmiris. 'I don't subscribe to violence as a concept of solutions. Present local (global and local) political and economical dimensions vouch for peaceful solutions, which can be arrived at only through negotiations,' he says. When asked how the talks would be different than that of Mirwaiz, who has already had one round of parleys with UPA government, Sajjad says, 'It is not proper to draw comparisons. Mirwaiz has his own way and I have mine.' And his hopes about the talks, Sajjad says that he is not incumbent. 'I am answerable to my people and my party that is it. It's a long way and without raising expectations, I still believe that any solution would be drawn on the table'.