Participants Seek Serious Efforts For Kashmir Solution

Participants Seek Serious Efforts For Kashmir Solution

11 June 2013
Kashmir Times
Syed Yasir

Srinagar: Stating that government of India missed a number of opportunities for the resolution of Kashmir in the past, prominent people from different walks of life today strongly appealed both India and Pakistan to make serious efforts for a solution and strengthening the bilateral ties. They were taking part in a discussion- “Indo Pak Relations: The Road Ahead”, organized by Centre for Peace and Progress. O P Sharma, chairman of the centre, Abdul Rashid Kabuli, former MP, Ved Bhasin, chairman Kashmir Times Group of Publications, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, CPI(M) state secretary, Shabnum Lone, prominent lawyer, Advocate Zahid Ali of Jamaat-e-Islami, Nizam-u-Din, Bhat of PDP, Muzzafar Shah of Awami National Conference (ANC) and Hashim Quereshi were among those who took part in the discussion. In his inaugural address O P Sharma said the purpose of the conducting the discussion in Srinagar was to promote peace and common understanding. “We are fortunate that we have today people in the discussion from almost all walks of life. Their suggestions and observations will definitely play an important role to in bring the two courtiers (India and Pakistan) closer for resolution of all outstanding conflicts,”he said. CPI (M) state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, said when political leadership of both the countries as not in a position to talk to each other, people should not expect any extra ordinary development in near future. He added that despite the grim Indo-Pak scenario, people have expectations from the new government in Pakistan to move forward with India for the solution of Kashmir issue. “People of the state have faced countless problems for last two decades and it is primary responsibility of both the countries to resolve the issue,” Tarigami said. Former MP, Abdul Rashid Kabuli viewed that Pakistani leadership has not any united force and their political parties are divided in many regions. He said it is the Pakistani army which is a united force there and Pakistani leadership has to take them on board. Kabuli stated that New Delhi missed number of opportunities in the past for solution of Kashmir issue. “Pandit Nehru made promise to hold plebiscite, but Congress party totally ignored the commitment.” He accused Congress of eroding autonomy, pushing Kashmir today militancy by rigging polls with NC. “Those associated with Muslim Muttahida Mahaz were forced to take guns,” the former MP said. Ved Bhasin said number of other people including the representative of ruling National Conference and people like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik and others should have been also present in the discussion so that their view points would have also been considered. “It is unfortunate that the peace process started by both India and Pakistan is facing various road blocks. Many big rocks and many big landslides are in the way this peace process. Unless, we do not remove these rocks and landslides, the peace process will not continue,” he said. Referring to the remarks of Kabuli regarding taking of army on board by Pakistani government, Bhasin observed that army and intelligence agencies in both the countries are always part of a problem. “It cannot be part of any solution. Similarly the bureaucracy is also part of the problem. Basically, it is the political leadership which has to demonstrate their will, ability and capacity to resolve crisis. They have to move forward in the dialogue process to resolve issues,” he said. Bhasin added that it is unfortunately that position of security establishments, foreign secretaries and home secretaries matters in these countries. “Political leadership is following their directions to direct things. In the recent hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru, the government followed their directions and he was hanged. As long as governments continue to do this, solution of the issue is not possible,” he said. The chairman of KT Group of Publications said there are vested interests in the conflicts also. “There are also vested interests in politics, vested interest in security establishment, and also in bureaucracy. Unless these vested interests are not been contained, or removed, we will not go ahead,” he said. About Tarigami’s view that India and Pakistan should not take any decision in haste for the solution of the Kashmir issue, Bhasin said both India and Pakistan are talking with each other for the last 67 years and still they have not reached to any conclusion. “During these 67 long years, people in India and Pakistan have faced major burnt of the conflict. How long we must wait for the solution. Similarly the composite dialogue started by India and Pakistan has reached nowhere. There should be a determination of both the countries. Mani Shankar Aiyar has favoured that the dialogue process must be uninterrupted. Any external factor should not become an excuse for both the countries particularly India to stop the process. India is a big country, India is a larger country. It is world’s largest democracy. It has to take the initiative. It should be more flexible. It must try to reach to Pakistan. India lost many opportunities and the peace process is nowhere,” he said. Bhasin viewed that New Delhi will have to adopt a realistic approach on Kashmir issue to address the aspirations of the people of the state. If this is not done, the people will continue to suffer. “Kashmir conflict is a cause of concern for India Pakistan. If they want to put Kashmir issue on back burner, there would be no peace between them,” he said. The chairman of KT group of publication said t Kashmir issue is not a territorial problem.” Kashmir is a human problem which pertains to the aspirations of the people of the state. “It is the matter of their honor, dignity and liberty. It should not be solved on territorial basis. It has to be solved by taking into consideration the genuine and collective aspirations of the people. Unless Kashmiri people are not taken on board, no Kashmir solution is possible” he said. Bhasin added that the civil society and the families of divided parts are not being allowed to meet due to strict visa regime imposed by India and Pakistan. “They are the stake holders of the conflict and they will play their role in resolving the conflict. At least they should be allowed to meet each other,” he said. Demanding a demilitarization of both sides of LoC, Bhasin said since 1947 both the countries are increasing their military power and they must go for demilitarization as there are dangerous elements like Narindra Modi in both the countries, who can play a dangerous role in spoiling their relations. “Delimitarisation will also help them to reduce the defence budget at least by 10 percent. The defence budget is increasing with each passing day. Since peace process started the defence budget of both the countries increased many fold,” he added. He said that confidence building measures taken by both the courtiers are half hearted. “The human right violations are continuing in the state. The state terrorism also continues in Jammu and Kashmir. In such a situation there would be no forward movement in the talks,” Bhasin said. He stated that it is also important that the prisoners should be released; human right violations stopped so that a process for settlement of Kashmir issue starts. Shabnum Lone said the dialogue and peace conferences are futile exercises if practical steps are not taken to resolve the Kashmir issue. She said the human rights situation has to improve. The prominent lawyer viewed that India and Pakistan failed to come upto the expectations of the people. “They continued to waste time for last 63 years and Kashmiris eagerly waited for a solution as per their aspirations,” she said. “We are a state that has been made hostage to human right violations. We are the state which have been hostage of great indecision. This led to mahem. We are a state which is facing lot of problems on every front now,” Shabnum said. The lawyer added that both India and Pakistan have been saying that they will not diviate from the path of peace but they witnessed the Sarabjit and Sanaullah, assassinations taking place in the jails premises. “This should not have happened and they those not have been killed, Instead of providing them projection in jails, both of them were killed in cold blood,” she said. Nizam-ul-Din Bhat said Kashmir the initiatives taken by both the countries are not being carried out in true sprit. There are number of incidents in the recent past which has given a jolt to the peace process. “This forum should send a message to both the courtiers to sort out outstanding issues amicable as there is no place for enemity. The political parties and people should also take initiative to resolve the conflict,” he said. Jamaat-e-Islami leader Zahid Ali said ts organization belives that there would be no permanent peace in entire South Asia particularly Kashmir without the resolution of the Kashmir issue. He said United Nations resolutions have to be implemented. Then only Kashmir will be solved. Zahid saidt Indian leaders have also promised at world fora that Kashmiris would be given the chance to decide their future and the Kashmris are demanding keeping of the promise. Zahid also favoured Indo-Pak talks and involvement of Kashmiris into such a process. Muzzafar Shah said his late father, G M Shah, was the supporter of such conference and these conferences can play an important role in resolving the conflicts. He said it is most unfortunate that for the last 67 years India and Pakistan have not changed their traditional positions on Kashmir and due to the continuous rivalry people of the state are the worst suffers. He favoured that the outcome of the discussion should be sent to India and Pakistan governments so that it will serve the people. “We are strongly favouring dialogue between India and Pakistan. We welcome dialogue but genuine representatives should be includes in talks. Prime minister of India has invited Hurriyat for dialogue. This is not the way to invite Hurriyat. Prime minister should directly go to offices and go to their homes if they mean business in Kashmir,” he said. Congress leader Khemlata Wakhlu said after the election in Pakistan a hope has generated that the dialogue process will again restart between New Delhi and Islamabad. She said Congress is always for good relations with Pakistan.Friendly ties are important for peace and development of the country. “Our party is fully realizing that if the country has to progress, we need better relations with Pakistan,” Wakhlu said. She also said Congress party always believes in dialogue and discussions to resolve the problems. Hashim Quereshi said different initiatives taken by India and Pakistan have not revealed anything and only people of the state had faced problems. He said new government in Pakistan has created hope among people of the state for resolution of Kashmir issue. National president of International Democratic Party I.K. Khajurai said that origin of rivalry between India and Pakistan is in Kashmir issue. He said both the countries also fought many war still but the countries have failed to resolve their outstanding issues He favourred repealing of AFSPA, withdrawal of security forces from civilian areas to create conducive environment for return of Kashmiri pundits and other measures for the peace and prosperity of the state.