Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik spell out JRL’s concerns and conditions after 3-hour meeting
Srinagar: The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik held a three-hour long meeting on Tuesday to respond to the renewed offer of talks by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Soon after the meeting, which was held at Geelani’s residence, the JRL said that the dialogue offer of New Delhi was “ambiguous”.
“The statements emanating regarding ‘talks’ in the course of the last few days from different people at the helm of affairs in New Delhi are unclear and ambiguous,” Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said in the JRL statement.
However, they added that the JRL would enter the dialogue process once Delhi comes clear on what the talks are about.
The JRL statement, interestingly, comes two days after Geelani said that Hurriyat Conference won’t enter any dialogue process until and unless Delhi accepts Kashmir as a disputed state and agrees to the Hurriyat’s five-point proposal set in 2010.
According to sources in Hurriyat Conference (G), Mirwaiz and Malik came to the residence of Geelani at around 2PM along with their second-rung party workers who also participated in the meeting, which concluded at around 5 PM.
“While Rajnath says there should be dialogue with both Kashmir and Pakistan but also says that both ‘Kashmir and Kashmiris are ours’, and (Sushma) Swaraj puts a rider and says no talks with Pakistan unless “terror is stopped”, then Amit Shah gives a spin to the ceasefire that’s it’s not for militants but for people, while the state DGP issued a statement that it’s for militants to return home,” the JRL pointed out the lack of coherence in the government’s statements.
“All this ambiguity leaves little room to consider the offer of talks seriously,,” the resistance leaders observed.
“These statements come a few days after (Narendra) Modi said in Srinagar that the panacea to the Kashmir problem according to him is ‘development and peace’, putting the onus of bringing peace on the people, while absolving the government of India of all role and responsibility in the matter. Deliberately choosing to ignore the historical background of the Kashmir problem, its internal and external dimensions, is the reason for the presence of lakhs of his troops here and the daily aggression and the highly volatile situation on the ground and near the LoC in the conflict-ridden region. It was like Modi was playing a cruel joke on the people,” the JRL statement added.
“Then, a few days back, Rajnath Singh said that we are ready to talk to Pakistan and Hurriyat (Conference), to which Sushma Swaraj added riders and caveats and Amit shah put out his clarifications… Now the question is what are these ‘talks’ about to which Singh is referring? What is the agenda of these talks? Is it (to) be about Modi’s suggestion of development?” the JRL asked, adding that the JRL “does not want to score points” by highlighting the discrepancies and conflicts in their statements but “wants to understand what GoI is conveying through them to respond accordingly”.
“Since people of J&K are at the receiving end of the lingering 70-year-old conflict, being the worst affected, we are most keen to find an end to it. And hence have always advocated that being a political and human issue, it needs to be addressed likewise, not militarily as GoI has been doing. And for a political redressal of the conflict, dialogue among stakeholders is the best process and option available. As J&K is a divided territory and half of it is in Pakistan, this dispute has three stakeholders: India Pakistan and people of this land,” the leaders explained.
“Meaningful talks based on a clear agenda underlined by sincerity among all the three stakeholders are an assured and peaceful way to resolve the conflict of Kashmir in all its forms and dimensions. Absence of any one stakeholder in the process will not yield to any solution. It is also important to have transparency in such a process and an assurance from all sides that promises and pledges made will be honoured. Talks that are so held keeping in view the concerns and needs of stakeholders especially the most afflicted party, to the satisfaction of all will surely be successful and result oriented,” the JRL said.
“Any effort that GoI makes in this direction will find takers in Kashmir and Pakistan. Let GoI give clarity on what it wants to talk about and speak in one language, we are ready to join the process,” Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said.
“The stakes for people of Kashmir are very high. We have invested heavily in our struggle for our right to self-determination and cannot afford to be part of an ambiguous effort that has no clarity and direction,” the JRL said.