Kashmiris fighting Pakistan’s war too: Geelani’s letter to Nawaz

Sana Fazili
Srinagar: The letter sent by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani to Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has hailed the latter’s government’s stand on Kashmir dispute during the aborted National Security Adviser-level talks with India.
“The way Pakistan advocated the oppressed Kashmiri nation is highly encouraging for us and it has provided succor to our people’s freedom struggle. Kashmir dispute has once again resonated across the world,” reads the letter written in Urdu.
“The reality that Kashmir is not a border dispute between India and Pakistan but an issue concerning 13 million people, who are the principal party to the dispute, and their right to self determination will find greater resonance,” the letter, dated August 28, said.
Pakistan had called off the talks, scheduled on August 23, after India asked told it that Kashmir will not be on the agenda and Kashmiri resistance leadership should not be consulted ahead of the meeting between Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
“For this bold stand we are thankful to you, Pakistan army and the Pakistani nation. We hope that in future too you will act with similar determination and courage and strengthen your Kashmir policy and also remain consistent,” the letter said.
The letter was handed over to Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit on Tuesday in New Delhi by a three-member Hurriyat (G) delegation. It was expected to reach Pakistani PM by Wednesday. However, a Hurriyat (G) spokesman said the letter was handed over to Pakistan authorities on September 1.
“The case of Kashmiri people is very strong and if Pakistan remains firm on its stance on Kashmir, which is based on principles, India will become answerable to the world community and it will be left with no option but to give up its rigidity,” it reads.
Geelani writes in the letter that although “we are aware that Pakistan is facing external and internal threats and going through the most difficult phase in its history”, the “men of wisdom and patriots are at the same time of the opinion that Kashmiri people, apart from struggling for their freedom, are also fighting a war for Pakistan’s survival.”
“Qaid-e-Azam Ali Mohammad Jinnah has not called Kashmir as Pakistan’s jugular vein for nothing,” the veteran leader, who is respected for his uncompromising stand on Kashmir, says in the letter.
“Kashmir is an important region given its geography and political atmosphere. God forbid, if Kashmir is never freed of Indian occupation and if Pakistan withdraws from its claim, it will be highly detrimental for Mumlikat-e-Khuda Dad (Pakistan),” the letter reads.
Geelani warns Pakistan that it will be faced with a host of “defence and economic” problems if “India continues its occupation”.
“India is a growing imperialistic power and its expansionist designs are extremely dangerous. India not only wants to occupy Kashmir but this country is working on its long pending project to establish its supremacy and dominance over the entire South Asian region,” the letter said.
Geelani said a strong and stable Pakistan is the “prerequisite for the resolution of the Kashmir issue”. He also advised Nawaz to forge “strong and brotherly relations” with Afghanistan and Iran so that the three work together on a joint platform.