‘It is a ploy to strike a hard bargain which the people of Kashmir and the leadership will never succumb to’
Srinagar: The joint resistance leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said on Tuesday that while the pro-freedom leadership has in principle always advocated and supported sincere and productive dialogue as a means of conflict resolution for Jammu and Kashmir, but this entails from all participants the basic acknowledgment that there is a dispute. The government of India (GoI) continuously refuses to accept this basic premise, the JRL said.
Meeting Tuesday at senior resistance leader Geelani’s Hyderpora residence, the JRL reacted sharply to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outright dismissal of former Home minister P Chidambaram’s suggestion of restoring autonomy for J&K. The JRL said that if the GoI even rejects its co-political party’s demand for restoration of autonomy guaranteed by its own constitution, calling it a betrayal with soldiers and hence unacceptable, how will such a dispensation in New Delhi address or engage with the Kashmiri people’s political will and aspiration for self-determination, for which they have been relentlessly struggling and sacrificing for the past 70 years?
The JRL said that this clearly indicates that the GoI’s much-hyped appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as its interlocutor for J&K is nothing more than a tactic to buy time, adopted under international pressures and regional compulsions and due to the abysmal failure of the State policy of military repression upon the people of Kashmir.
It said Sharma’s recent comment that he will come to Kashmir to dissuade the youth from Islam and pursuing their legitimate political aspirations so that Kashmir does not become Syria is misleading. To compare the internationally recognised 70-year-old political and humanitarian issue of Kashmir to that of the sectarian war and power struggle in Syria is deception and propaganda as there is no correlation between the two situations, the JRL said.
The leadership further said that Sharma’s assertion that he is coming to the Valley with the directive from the GoI to “restore peace”, rather than addressing the dispute or its resolution in keeping with the sentiment of the overwhelming majority of the people of J&K, limits the scope of any engagement with him and makes it an exercise in futility.
Unless the Kashmir dispute is understood and addressed in its historical context and in the background of international commitments made over it, lasting peace can neither be achieved in J&K nor in the subcontinent, the statement said. “While the repressive state militaristic approach continues in dealing with Kashmir, to talk of peace and dialogue is also a ploy by the GoI to strike a hard bargain which the people of Kashmir and the leadership will never succumb to,” it said.
“For any Kashmiri to be part of this futile exercise will only undermine our internationally acknowledged, legitimate and just struggle, nourished by the blood of our martyrs and the great sacrifices and hardships rendered daily by the masses,” it added.
The JRL reiterated that use of unlimited force on common people, killings and torture of youth, imprisonment, intimidation, propaganda, media trials, harassment of women and all such inhuman measures will not deter the people or the leadership to give up pursuing their legitimate demand for the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per our will and aspirations.