SRINAGAR: A veteran Indian journalist on Saturday said the people of Kashmir should shun the ongoing freedom movement because India will never allow that freedom. “India will never give Independence to Kashmir. Kashmiris must end their struggle and urge for Azadi because many states in India want a similar thing,” Kuldip Nayar said while speaking at a media summit held at the SKICC here.
The summit was organised by Lehar, a Kashmir-based NGO run by Bashir Assad, a former PDP man. The two-day summit is being attended by senior Indian journalists including Barkha Dutt, Rahul Jalali, Saeed Naqvi, Shahid Siddiqui, Siddharth Varadarajan, Vinod Sharma, Rana Ayyub, Madhu Kishwar, Nidhi Kulpati, Jayanta Ghosal, KG Suresh, Nikhil Wagle, Saba Naqvi and Deepika Rajawat.
According to Assad, the aim of the summit was to revisit the coverage of Kashmir by the India media. He said that the objective was to see to discuss the impact of “prejudiced” Indian media coverage on Kashmir.
Recalling his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Jeddah, Nayar quoted Nawaz telling him that neither would Kashmir get freedom nor would Pakistan ask India to leave it. Nayar said the first Indian PM Jawahar Lal Nehru, through his close aide Lal Bahadur Shastri, had conveyed to former Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah that Kashmir should seek freedom from poverty, not India.
“We cannot only think of Kashmir. We have to think of Hindus as well. The only way by which Kashmir gets its freedom is under the Indian Constitution,” Naqvi told the summit.
Interestingly, Madhu Kishwar later seemed to be castigating Kashmiri students who attended the summit in a tweet: “In Srinagar today for conference on Media. Main audience — volatile students of journalism. Interested more in activism than journalism.”