Friday, 30 May 2008

Interview with NNI interview

Interview with NNI interview

In an interview with NNI Shabir Choudhry, President JKLF UK& Europe said people have pinned too many hopes with the Musharaf Vajapayee Summit. People are thinking that solution to all problems is in the neighbourhood of Taj Mahal, and Musharaf will come home with plenty in his basket. To me it is just another Summit between leaders of the two countries - it is not the first and it won't be the last. What adds to its importance is the changed environment, not only in South Asia but in rest of the world as well.

Shabir Choudhry said we are not against this Summit as perceived by certain sections of the media. I think Indian and Pakistani leaders must have a dialogue as they have many bilateral and territorial issues to resolve, for example, Sir Crick, economic and trade, issues related to Iranian pipe line, and above all issues related to nuclear and missiles and their accidental use. In order to resolve these it is imperative that both leaders, who are in a position to take bold decisions, have a process of dialogue and put confidence-building measure in place to have friendly environment in the region.

JKLF President said we have no objection to the Summit if they limit their talks to these problems. We have always encouraged a friendly relationship between the two. But since the Kashmir dispute is not a territorial dispute nor it is a bilateral issue we cannot allow them to take a decision on that. Kashmir dispute concerns the Kashmiri peoples inherent and inalienable right of self-determination which cannot be substituted with anything. Whereas India and Pakistan have become a party to the Kashmir dispute because of their claim and control of the Kashmiri territory, Kashmiris have a title- they are the principal party to the dispute. It is they who are the suffering party and have been denied basic human rights; therefore it must be they who should decide the future of Kashmir.

He said there must be a tripartite dialogue as there are three parties to the dispute. Any pact or agreement made by two parties is not going to solve the problem. History of bilateral talks to resolve Kashmir issue proves that it does not work. We have examples of Nehru Liaquat talks, Mohammed Ali Nehru talks, Sawaran Singh and Bhutto talks, Tashkant agreement, Simla agreement, Indra Abdullah Accord etc. Musharraf and Vajapayee are not more popular or bigger leaders than Indra Gandhi and Zulfqar Ali Bhutto, and if pact made by them could be rejected then surely pact made by these two would also be rejected. Until and unless we are part of the dialogue process there could be no solution to the Kashmir dispute and there could be no peace and stability in the region.

He said Kashmiri people feel that Musharaf has let them down. It was the Kashmiri people who were first invited to have a dialogue with India. We refused because Kashmir issue could only be resolved by trilateral talks. We insisted that Pakistan must be part of the process. India didn't want to entertain this idea because of what they called 'cross border terrorism ' and undemocratic nature of the Musharaf regime. At that time Pakistan government fully supported the tripartite talks and the APHC leadership; and requests were made to we stand by with this decision. We, despite all the pressures, honoured our commitment, but when Musharaf was invited he forgot about the tripartite nature of talks and the Kashmiri leadership. He seems to be overwhelmed with joy and excitement, as he is getting some kind of acknowledgement. For that he has made some important changes at home as well and has put on many hats on his head, but that still does not entitle him to take decision on behalf of the Kashmiri people.

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