SRINAGAR: Calling for unity in the larger interest of Jammu and Kashmir, Awami Ittehad Party chief and Member of Legislative Assembly from Langate, Enginer Abdul Rasheed, said on Thursday that he was ready to join the Hurriyat Conference to support the cause of right to self-determination.
Rashid’s statement in a press conference at Srinagar came a day after Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani asked pro-India political leaders to join the pro-freedom movement.
“I have sought an appointment with Geelani. We will chalk out the modalities and I will see what he has in mind, on what lines he wants mainstream political parties to support him,” Rasheed said, adding, “If he wants my merger with Hurriyat, I’m ready to do it, but for that we first need to understand each other.”
Rasheed said he would also meet Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Yasin Malik, and Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat. “I’m ready to go to any extent because my cause is to represent the aspirations of Kashmiris,” he said.
Quoting Mirwaiz’s interview with one of the weekly tabloids based in Srinagar, Rasheed said, “Mirwaiz had told Kashmir Life that he and Er Rashid are on the same page regarding the Kashmir dispute.”
Welcoming the ‘move’ made by Chief Minister Mehbooba to meet National Conference President Farooq Abdullah regarding Article 35A, Rasheed thanked New Delhi for bringing the mainstream parties together on the issue. “Earlier there were differences between the leaders but now I believe that things are moving in a good way. I will ask Farooq sahab to maintain his stance rather than changing it on daily or weekly basis,” he said.
Accusing New Delhi of cornering Kashmiris, Rasheed said that everyone, be it mainstream parties or pro-freedom parties, has to come together to prevent New Delhi’s plan of changing the demography of the state. “All stakeholders should work on the resolution of Kashmir issue and block New Delhi’s vicious efforts to change the demography of the state,” he said.
When asked if he was ready to quit his seat in the Legislative Assembly, he said, “I am open to the idea, if Geelani sahab can provide some concrete road map to carry forward the movement in a better way. My only agenda is the right to self-determination and nothing else.”