Separatists Ready For Via Media: Jethmalani

Separatists Ready For Via Media: Jethmalani

5 August 2012
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Revealing that separatist leadership was ready to make some compromises in their stand to reach out to a solution on Kashmir ‘dispute’, noted lawyer and head of the Kashmir Committee, Ram Jethmalani Saturday said that unless the ‘ extreme positions’ from both sides were not abandoned, no solution to the problem could be arrived at. “Majority of the people in JK want a peaceful solution and for this a compromise on the respective stands is inevitable,” a vernacular news agency KNS quoted Jethmalani as having said. Asked if there were any indications of separatists softening their stand, Jethmalani said, “If a hardliner like Geelani Sahab sits with me to talk Kashmir problem it must be seen as an indication that there is a scope of compromise on certain issues from the separatist camp.” He added that there was no way other than to shed the tough stands from all sides including Pakistan if any consensus was to be arrived at. The head of the Kashmir Committee said that he believed that the Committee is trying to find out whether talking on Kashmir is a ‘lost cause or it is still worth deliberations.’ “I think solution can be reached at. Even the Government of India is working on some CBMs including the repealing of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and other draconian laws,” he added. The senior BJP leader pitched for a Round Table Conference to galvanize the opinion for the resolution of Kashmir issue. Jethmalani on the second day of his Valley visit met Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Democratic Freedom Party President Shabir Ahmad Shah at their respective residences in Srinagar. The noted lawyer, according to the news agency, held important deliberations with Mirwaiz. During the meeting the Mirwaiz is understood to have told BJP parliamentarian that the dialogue between Hurriyat and GOI was useless until New Delhi takes sincere steps towards the resolution of Kashmir issue. Mirwaiz stressed on the inclusion of separatist leadership in the Indo-Pak dialogue process. He however said that Hurriyat was not averse to dialogue but insisted that New Delhi should prepare ground for it and should repeal the draconian laws and should release the detainees. Mirwaiz observed the cross LoC trade and Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service could have proved “big Confidence Building Measures.” “The GOI is not serious to remove the impediments in the trade and the bus service,” the Mirwaiz said. According to KNS, Mirwaiz made it clear that dialogue and violence cannot go together. Meanwhile, Ram Jethmalani is understood to have underlined the need of opening up the channels of negotiation between New Delhi and Hurriyat leadership. “There is an immediate need of re-engaging Hurriyat leadership and I will try to convince GOI,” Jethmalani is understood to have told Mirwaiz. Jethmalani along with his colleague Madhu Kishwar visited the residence of Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah in uptown and held deliberations with Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Zafar Akbar Bhat, Farooq Ahmad Dar (Bita Karatey), Javid Ahmad Mir, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Shabir Ahmad Dar and Yasmeen Raja. During the meeting Shabir Ahmad Shah flayed state government for what he said disrespecting the courts. “They don’t even respect the Supreme Court here.” Shah is understood to have told Jethmalani. Referring to ‘human rights’ abuses, Shah told Jethmalani that ordering an inquiry in these incidents has now become a fashion and those who are being appointed as inquiry officers were basically on the pay rolls of the government. Meanwhile, Madhu Kishwar said that Union Home Ministry and Army should not be blamed for every wrong in the Valley. “It is the state government which should be held responsible for placing the separatists under frequent house arrests, not the Home Ministry or Army.” Keshwar told the separatists. The Kashmir Committee members also met the representatives of Civil Society members.