Thursday, 29 May 2008

JKLF leader demands role in peace process

JKLF leader demands role in peace process

BRUSSELS Sept 17 (NNI): Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front has demanded that all the parties and organizations of Kashmir should be given due representation in the peace process to arrive at a durable solution of the Kashmir dispute.

It said, APHC does not represent the entire Kashmiri people and any solution at the Valley level will not be acceptable to all the Kashmiris.

Terming the Kashmir dispute as one of the oldest and most complicated one in the world, Chairman Diplomatic Committee of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Dr Shabir Choudhry said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have forcibly been divided for the past 58 years.

Addressing at the International Conference on Kashmir National Reconciliation here, the Kashmiri leader said the forced division has resulted in differences and misunderstandings; and militancy and violence has not only brought sufferings and misery, but also widened the gulf among different ethnic groups.

“Those who think that the Kashmir dispute is simple, and is easy to resolve, they are wrong,” he remarked adding, those who think differently either don’t understand the nature of the dispute or they
deliberately try to confuse people.

He said these people deliberately try to link the Kashmir dispute with the Two Nations Theory, Jihad and movement of Islamic fundamentalism.

Kashmir struggle is political in nature, and has nothing to do with religion; and those who are trying to project it as a religious struggle are embittering the communal harmony, which is essential for the peace and stability of the state.

“By injecting element of religion in our struggle for independence, they have seriously damaged social fabrics of the society, and have divided people on ethnic and religious lines. Their agenda seems to be
quite clear, they want to divide the State on communal and religious lines; and those who believe that the state of Jammu and Kashmir must remain as one political entity have to work hard to defeat demons of communalism and hatred,” Dr Shabir remarked.

There are many reasons why the Kashmir dispute could not be resolved, and one such reason is that those who had the ability to resolve it had no wish to do so, because their aim has always been to control and
manage the ‘crises’.

The Kashmir dispute has become a big business, and status quo suits many powerful groups. As long as the Kashmir pot is boiling, business is booming, and it is in the commercial interest of these people that the dispute is not resolved.

Net result of this strategy is that people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to bleed and suffer. This suffering has to end, as people could not be expected to continue to suffer and live in misery.

About sincere efforts for the resolution of the core issue, the Kashmiri leader suggested: “we have to formulate such policies that the state of Jammu and Kashmir could be united, and the forced division could be ended.

We have to ensure that the dispute is resolved through a peace process; and that there is peace and stability not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in South Asia. But before we reach that stage this reign of terror
has to end, as it is not possible to establish peace when people with gun are calling shots, and adding to the misery and suffering of the people.”

Supporting the peace process between India and Pakistan, he acknowledged that: “it has made some progress, but I am not satisfied with its pace and method. Those who are pushing the agenda of peace need to understand that the Kashmir dispute is not bilateral in nature; and that All Parties Hurriyet Conference is not representative of the Kashmiri people.”

Demanding the role in peace process, he said any solution negotiated either by both India and Pakistan will not be acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly any solution negotiated with APHC
will not be acceptable to the majority of the Kashmiris, as people on both sides of the divide know that APHC do not represent true aspirations of the people.

“It is imperative that a mechanism is worked out to widen the process of dialogue; and other leaders representing different regions and political thoughts are also accommodated. People of Jammu and Kashmir are disillusioned and they feel alienated, and in order to win their confidence, authorities have to ensure that suffering people get some relief,” he added.

One could not win the trust of the people when guns are killing innocent people; and when many innocent citizens are still languishing in jails. In order to win hearts and minds of the people on both sides of the divide, and to make them part of the peace process, both India and Pakistan have to take certain measures which are Kashmir specific and which provide relief to the people.

“We appreciate that both India and Pakistan have genuine interest in Jammu and Kashmir, but they also have to acknowledge the fact that Jammu and Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiri people; and that as a principal party to this dispute, we should have the final say on future of the State.”

Terming the whole State of Jammu and Kashmir as disputed, he said that the fact that there is no militancy in some areas of the State does not mean that these areas are not disputed any more.

He demanded the representation of people from Jammu, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan and Azad Kashmir by saying that only a number of representatives from the Valley have been projected as leaders of Kashmiri people who held talks with Indian leaders.

He said that any such solution for the Valley only will not be acceptable to the Kashmiris. He added that
such cosmetic changes will not provide a lasting solution to bring peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir and in South Asia. NNI

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