SRINAGAR: In a strongly-worded statement, Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani said on Tuesday that it will boycott Eid Milan hosted by Pakistan in New Delhi in protest against the way Kashmir dispute was ignored at a meeting between prime ministers of India and Pakistan in a Russian city last week.
The Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi is hosting Eid Milan on July 21. Other resistance leaders are yet to take a call on whether to attend the function.
Pakistan deputy high commissioner had invited Geelani to the event over phone, but rather than accepting the invitation, the veteran leader had told him that he will respond after consultation with the group’s members.
Contrary to past practice, Pakistan did not insist on mentioning Kashmir dispute in a joint statement issued last week after a meeting between Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Ufa, a Russain city.
Although, after facing flak at home and in Kashmir, Sharif’s adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Monday that “no dialogue will take place with India unless Kashmir issue is included in the agenda.” But the apparent U-turn has not mollified the Hurriyat.
“We believe Kashmir issue is the issue of the future of 13 million people and they can’t be taken for granted in any way and neither can they be ignored,” Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar said.
He said that since the “fanatical BJP” has come into power in New Delhi, India has been trying to thrust an agenda on Pakistan in which Kashmir doesn’t exist.
“Skipping Kashmir at the high-level meeting between the two nations shows India has succeeded in pushing its agenda and Narendra Modi’s smile has been given preference over the countless sacrifices made by Kashmiris,” Akbar said.
“It is a very painful act and every Kashmiri felt its pain. Although Pakistan has been supporting the right to self-determination of Kashmiris from 1947, the lack of a permanent and stable policy on diplomatic level sometimes washes away everything and the apologetic approach unwittingly damages the Kashmir cause severely,” the statement said.
Despite advocating merger with Pakistan as the only solution of Kashmir dispute, Geelani has criticised
Pakistan policy in the past also. He was one of the few leaders who had opposed Musharraf’s four-point formula, which came to be accepted as the only viable solution at that time.
“Kashmir issue is a burning issue not only in this sub-continent but in the entire world and its disputed nature is the reason for the political uncertainty and instability in the entire south Asian region. Therefore, unless Kashmir dispute is resolved in accordance with wishes and aspirations of its people, relations between the India and Pakistan will not get better,” the statement said.
The statement said that Kashmiri nation has been struggling for its birthright of freedom and will continue to do so at all costs till it achieves its goal.
“The Kashmir issue has gone through many ups and downs in the past and these situations will continue to occur in the future also. But we are satisfied that Kashmiri people have not only shown courage and valor but their sentiment for freedom has only strengthened,” the statement said.