Guru Execution Will Derail Peace Process: Barrister21 September 2011
Srinagar: Terming situation in Afghanistan as blessing in disguise for resolution of Kashmir issue, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) Barrister Sultan Mahmood Choudhary on Wednesday said execution of Parliament attack convict Muhammad Afzal Guru will derail the peace process on Kashmir. “Afzal Guru should not be hanged. It can lead to deterioration in the situation and both countries should not take any such measure which would vitiate peaceful atmosphere here,” he told reporters at a news conference here before leaving for Pakistan via New Delhi. Barrister Sultan said international community including European Union and United States are accepting that Kashmir is the core issue in the region. “When they (US) ask us (Pakistan) to deploy forces on our Western border (Afghanistan) for their exit, we tell them about our Eastern border with India. It is another reason for global attention on Kashmir,” he said. Pitching for inclusion of Kashmir leadership in talks, he said the dialogue wouldn’t bear any fruit till the involvement of basic stakeholders. “We welcome the dialogue process between India and Pakistan, but if it has to be result oriented and successful then Kashmiris need to be involved,” he said. Barrister Sultan added that Kashmir dispute is the core issue between both the countries while other issue was mere “irritants” which will be sorted out once the Kashmir issue is resolved. Replying to a query about the remarks of Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman apparently over his meeting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Barrister Sultan said he (Geelani) has his own point of view. “We respect Geelani and his unflinching stand on Kashmir issue,” he said, adding that he had not any intention to meet Omar Abdullah. “It was coincidence that we met at wedding ceremony for 5-10 minutes,” he said. Asked whether he recognised mainstream politicians as elected representatives of the people of Kashmir, Barrister Sultan replied in a single word, “No.” During his three-day visit, the former PaK premier met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Gani Lone and other leaders. About his Pahalgam trip with Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani in a State chopper on Tuesday, Barrister Sultan said it was facilitated by his host. Pitching for intra-Kashmir dialogue, he called for hassle free movement on both sides of Line of Control. “For this, present permit system should be abolished and both countries should provide permits at LOC,” he said, adding that he will take up the issue with Pakistani leadership on his return. The former PaK Prime Minister said he salutes Kashmiris for rendering countless sacrifices during past 20 years. “It is due to the sacrifices of masses in this part of Kashmir that today entire world is talking about the resolution of Kashmir issue. It is due to blood of youth that issue is echoing in House of Commons and Norwegian Parliament,” he added.