‘No Question Of Sell-out’

‘No Question Of Sell-out’

14 December 2012
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Admitting that there is a disconnect between the people of Pakistan and Kashmir, the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq believes that India has to respond to the amalgam’s exercise of visiting Pakistan “to bridge the trust-deficit and initiate a new beginning on Kashmir.” He said that if New Delhi prefers to remain silent after their Pakistan visit, it would be a “big loss for India.” In an exclusive with Greater Kashmir on way to Srinagar International Airport on Wednesday, Mirwaiz said that Pakistan should assert more on inclusion of people of Kashmir in the dialogue process with India so that the process “moves into multilateral mode.” He also said that there was nothing wrong in discussing the options including former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf’s four-point formula on Kashmir as the “world disputes are being resolved through negotiated settlements.” ON PAKISTAN VISIT “We will go with an open mind and try to know what Pakistan leadership has to offer us. Their stand is clear as for as Kashmir is concerned. But keeping in view the changing geopolitical scenario, we have to explore other options as well without, of course, compromising on the principled stand of right to self-determination,” he said. He said the amalgam is “very hopeful” that India would reciprocate to their Pakistan exercise. “I am hopeful that India will open a new chapter of dialogue with us. If it doesn’t, that’s going to be a big loss for New Delhi,” Mirwaiz said. “But we won’t go with a begging bowl before India and beg for talks. It has to show a realistic approach now. It has already acknowledged that Kashmiri movement can’t be solved through elections and by using the force.” The Hurriyat(M) chairman, who is scheduled to leave for Pakistan from New Delhi on Saturday along with six members of the Executive Council of the amalgam, said the demands put forth by them before the Government of India in 2006 have to be met so that a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue begins with New Delhi. “Clearing the travel of many Hurriyat leaders who were earlier denied passports is a good omen for a starting a meaningful dialogue process with India,” Mirwaiz said. He said at the same time Pakistan has to “assert more for inclusion of Kashmiri people in the dialogue process.” ON ‘SELL-OUT’ Mirwaiz said the Kashmir problem is so complex that there is no question of entering into a sell-out. “People have offered huge sacrifices, even more than the leaders. And it is not that leaders can enter into secret deals like we witnessed in 1947, 1975 and 1984,” he said. “People are fully aware what is happening on the political front and who is who. People are politically more mature than the leaders,” he said. Mirwaiz said when the Hurriyat received talks offer from New Delhi earlier, “some people right-away termed it as a sell out.” “Now going to Pakistan is also being labeled as a sellout by some quarters. This is strange,” he said. Mirwaiz said if Hurriyat’s agenda would have been a “secret deal” the leaders of the amalgam would have been in power and not finding ways to resolve Kashmir issue as per the wishes of the people of Kashmir. “We are in pain and agony. To come out of this is the responsibility of the leadership. I believe we have to keep on talking as there is no other option,” he said. ON UN RESOLUTIONS “The UN resolutions are our basic right. The resolutions have many offshoots like economic, political and even social. We need to have economic right to self-determination as well as social determination,” he said. “The fact remains that Kashmir primarily a political problem which nobody can deny.” ON DIFFERENT FORMULAS “Unfortunately, the narrative we are having in Kashmir is negative. People criticize us for the sake of criticism. We don’t want everybody should agree with us but at the same time negative narrative is not acceptable,” he said. “We will tell Pakistan leadership that there was no harm in discussing formulas even if it is the four-point proposal of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf or for that matter any other.” The world disputes, Mirwaiz said, are being resolved through negotiated settlements. “Those opposing talks and our Pakistan visit should show us the other way for achieving goals,” he said. Mirwaiz said he recently saw Imran Khan saying that he has a road map on Kashmir. “So let us see what he has to offer. There is nothing wrong it that,” he said. “We want Kashmir to come out of the bilateral mode and to enter into multilateral mode with more options on table.” ON DISCONNECT Mirwaiz said there seems disconnect between the people of Pakistan and Kashmir. “The fact remains that Pakistan has gone through worst times due to its internal situation. I believe there is gap between its people and Kashmir which needs to be filled,” Mirwaiz said. “We will stress on the Pakistan leaders and those in the opposition to make Kashmir as a part of its election manifesto. This will be an added advantage for Kashmir following the fact that Kashmir is already a part of national policy of Pakistan.” ON NEW DELHI’S ‘RIGID POLICY’ The Hurriyat chairman admitted that New Delhi needs to show flexibility on Kashmir. “The fact, however, remains that New Delhi is well aware of the transition Kashmir witnessed in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Even a single spark can trigger a big fire. Delhi has admitted the fact that Kashmir can’t be resolved through force,” he said. New Delhi, Mirwaiz said, has to create conducive atmosphere for talks by announcing the revocation of AFSPA and release of political prisoners. “But if New Delhi’s policy is to conduct elections and to make leaders, then NC and PDP is doing its job,” he said. ON PAK MEETINGS Mirwaiz said he will not only meet the United Jehad Council chief Syed Salahudin but also the prominent leaders in Pakistan Administered Kashmir. “Despite differences, we believe that entire J&K is one and has to emerge as a State as it existed in 1947. Unfortunately, India and Pakistan has not allowed the leadership of the two divided parts to sit together so far,” he said. ON ECONOMIC DIMENSION “We do have ownership of the land but have no authority to utilize our resources as they have been sold by our leaders. So roads, water and power is a part of the economic dimension of the Kashmir problem. We have to fight on this front as well,” he said. “Hurriyat was a bit late in identifying the economic issues. But its better late than never.”