SRINAGAR: Except pro-India politicians, all prominent business organisations, civil society members, and pro-freedom leaders have decided to not meet the all-party delegation coming from New Delhi to defuse the anti-India uprising in Kashmir.
Pro-India parties National Conference, Congress, CPM, PDF, and DPN have decided to meet the delegation. Rebel legislator of Awami Itthehad Party, Engineer Abdul Rasheed who demands a plebiscite, has also decided to meet the delegation.
In contrast to them, the pro-freedom leadership led by Syed Ali Geelani, the Kashmir Inc (group of eight largest business organisations in Kashmir), the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, the Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies, and the Kashmir High Court Bar Association have decided to stay away from the delegation.
“It is easy to ask people to abstain from alcohol in the mosque but difficult to do the same in the tavern. If India did not tire of forgetting its promises why should Kashmiris tire of talking about their birthright (plebiscite),” Rasheed said.
Geelani said on Friday that “the Indian parliamentary delegation is coming to Kashmir after passing a resolution that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Therefore, this delegation neither has the mandate nor the intention to resolve the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“We suggest to all stakeholders to refrain from engaging in this meaningless exercise of meeting this delegation. Indian parliamentarians should have a special session of Parliament where they should accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir to pave the way for holding referendum in the whole of the state that existed in 1947, to settle this issue permanently, peacefully and democratically,” Geelani said in a statement.
The all-party delegation will be led by Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It is scheduled to arrive on Sunday. The delegation will hold its meetings at the SKICC.
Kashmir Inc in a statement on Friday said that they, too, will stay away from the delegation because such “half-hearted” measures won’t solve any purpose”.
“Kashmir Inc is an apolitical organisation and the delegation should talk to the Hurriyat (represented by three leaders). Let the mockery of symbolic Kashmir visits over our tragedy end, and seriousness begin for an effort for sustainable solution to Kashmir dispute. Even Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the opposition leader of Rajya Sabha recently sought a permanent solution, which can’t come through cosmetic patchwork. Tangible measures need to be taken by even taking Pakistan on board,” a statement issued by the Kashmir trade organisations said this afternoon.
Kashmir Inc includes Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, All Kashmir Fruit Growers Association, KHARA, KHAROF and HBOA.
These prominent groups have been receiving phone calls from the administration asking them about their willingness for the meeting before a formal invitation is sent to them.
Sources in the divisional commissioner’s office told Kashmir Reader that amidst this rejection from the prominent groups, a number of self-appointed heads of many organisations have shown their willingness to attend the meeting.
“We have so far received nearly 10 requests from the various unknown persons who wanted to meet the delegation. On Thursday morning, a Sikh named Christian Singh Bedi who is not representing any registered organisation, visited divisional commissioner’s office seeking an appointment,” the source who is a senior officer told Kashmir Reader.
During the 2010 uprising when an all-party delegation was sent on a similar pattern, it met a similar rejection from the pro-freedom groups. Little known persons met the delegation. One person among them was Sultan Tiploo, who complained that ‘Kashmir mein ration nahi hai’ and on his return he was given a bag of rice.