The raging controversy over the meeting of the Pakistan President, General
Musharraf, and the Hurriyat is a part of a disinformation campaign aimed at
projecting the Hurriyat as an impediment to the upcoming summit. The Hurriyat
has been at pains to give a proper concept of its aims and objectives in an
attempt to clear the misconceptions created by the Government of India.
The Government of India has launched a sustained campaign against the
Hurriyat in its endeavour to portray the Hurriyat as a rabidly communal
organisation centred in extremism and terrorism.
The Hurriyat in comparison is a representative organisation, with the
aspirations of the 15 million people as the core of their objectives. They
cannot compete with the Government of India in terms of resources and are often
the victim of false portrayal.
The letter, addressed to the Prime Minister of India and Gen. Musharraf, is
an attempt by the Hurriyat to put the facts in the proper perspective. The
letter may have been addressed to the administrative heads, but the real
audience is supposed to be the civilised civilian structure within the two
countries. It is addressed to people who uphold the principles of fair play, who
are moderate in their outlook and who have a strong belief in democratic values.
Our letter is an attempt to make them understand that we have not mortgaged
ourselves with Pakistan, as India would like to portray. It has been the
consistent effort of the Hurriyat to explain the Kashmir point of view to both
India and Pakistan, that the Kashmir issue is a political problem, wherein the
sentiments and the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are involved,
and the fulfillment of these aspirations are essential to the solution of this
The Kashmiris have suffered the most in the shadow boxing between the
two nations and are bound to suffer more, if the prevalent, persistent obstinate
stance is any indication.
The Kashmiri psyche is in a desperate urge that the Kashmir viewpoint be
explained without any corruption to the basic facts.
The hullabaloo over the proposed meeting is uncalled for. Two heads of state
can meet. But an aspiring state representing the crux of the problem, involving
a hapless suffering population has no right to meet. We may not be a state yet,
but we represent the people. Are people irrelevant in the field of
geo-political sphere of bilateral interests?
The Hurriyat wants the civilised
structure in the two countries to form a constructive opinion and help defeat
the forces of destruction. The administrative set up within the two countries should not be a hostage to
the reactive opinion of a possible climbdown, instead the administrative set up
in both the countries should be hostage to the yearning for peace and conflict
Right from the outset, the Hurriyat was approached by the Government of India
for a dialogue. The Hurriyat did not go in for a dialogue, because the Indian
Government has left a chain of broken promises in the past. India had
religiously adhered to Machiavellian philosophy in the past. The presence of the
BJP at the centre rekindled the hopes of an honest resolution of the problem.
The Hurriyat unwittingly viewed the BJP as a patriotic party with the interests
of the country close to their heart.
The Hurriyat did not want to lose the opportunity and was averse to use the
historical misdeeds of the previous governments as a yardstick to gauge the
intentions of the BJP. It reciprocated the ceasefire call of the BJP-led
Government, and went a step ahead by praising the Prime Minister and describing
him as sincere, despite the continued bloodshed in Kashmir at the hands of the
same Prime Minister's armed forces. The intention was to make a break from the
cruel past. Hurriyat further initiated the idea of a visit to Pakistan.
The idea and the objective of the visit were well received by the Indian
Government at the informal level. Once the intentions of the visit were made
public, the Government of India took a diametrically opposite view at the formal
level and did not allow the visit to go ahead.
Instead, a controversy has been generated to the detriment of the upcoming
summit. "The Kashmiris cannot visit Pakistan, The Kashmiris cannot meet
Musharraf. They can meet Mr. K. C. Pant". This blatant didactic approach of the
Indian Government has only helped to reinforce the colonial image of India.
What is the problem in meeting Gen. Musharraf? And what is the problem in
meeting Mr. Vajpayee? The Hurriyat wants to meet both the heads, because
Kashmiris are segregated on both sides of the LoC. Both the parts are under
illegal occupation. Any meeting in isolation of either head is a futile
exercise, like the upcoming summit, which is mired in bilateralism, fuelled by
the arrogance of power.
India has a history of arrogance of power in Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah risked
his political career and was overtly seen as pro- India. The moment he started
making pro-Kashmiri noises, he was unceremoniously dropped, arrested and
replaced by a new Kashmiri - Ghulam Mohd. Bakshi.
Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq was used to oust Bakshi Sahib; Mir Qasim replaced Mr.
Sadiq after his death.
The present situation smacks of the same imperialistic fervour. The Hurriyat
was informally engaged in negotiations by the Government of India. Futile
engagement took precedence over sincere efforts to find a solution right from
day one. Take the example of the K.C. Pant episode.
The informal parleys were on, with Mr. Pant nowhere on the scene. Suddenly
Mr. Pant appeared formally out of nowhere and took the Hurriyat by surprise.
This was followed by the invitation to Gen. Musharraf. The story goes on and on.
The Hurriyat is not a Pakistani parrot. It is a Kashmiri parrot. Pakistan is
playing its cards well and taking care of the sentiments of the people of
Kashmir. India is arrogant in the belief that the occupation will last for ever.
The Hurriyat constitution is not averse to any option. Pakistan is as wary of
the third option as India. The role of Pakistan too has come under fire from a
section of the Hurriyat. Yet, the Indian establishment is busy painting the
Hurriyat as a Pakistani parrot.
The involvement of the Hurriyat in a tripartite dialogue would have signalled
a clean break from the past and heralded a new era, based on both realistic and
A few days back, he was at his audacious best and tried to draw parallels
between Sindh and Kashmir. The vitriolic of Mr. Advani represents the symptoms
of a deeper malaise afflicting the Indian psyche. They are trying to consecrate
denial of just rights by making incongruous comparisons.
Not to be out-done in
the race to vilify the Hurriyat, some Opposition parties in India have rewritten
a new chapter in apartheid by threatening to boycott the tea reception of the
Pakistan High Commissioner, if any Hurriyat member is invited. Are the Kashmiris
less human than the Indians.
Both India and Pakistan have stuck to rigid posturing over the past five
decades at the cost of thousands of Kashmiri lives. The right wingers are having
a field day, whipping up an emotional frenzy. The reactive costs of this rigid
posturing and emotional frenzy is not borne by either these right wingers or
their kith and kin. It is borne by the impoverished citizens, especially those
inducted into the armed forces out of domestic economic compulsions.
wingers want rigid posturing to be the guiding force as against realistic
economics. Poverty breeds and provides the necessary fodder for rigid extremist
This is not the first time that bilateral talks are being held between India
and Pakistan. They have been taking place in the past as well, with similar
media hype and have often ended without any progressive or constructive content.
A major portion of the time and scarce resources of each country are used to put
each other down and, now they want us to believe that, overnight they have
developed pangs of sincerity and want to change history. The exclusion of the
Hurriyat from the talks is an indicator of lack of sincerity in any resolve to
solve the issue.
The Government of India should understand that Gen. Musharraf needs an
explicit Hurriyat endorsement in order to sell any peace package, back home. A
sincere effort for the resolution of the Kashmir issue will take the Kashmiri
route. If you want to change history within or outside the stated positions, the
Kashmiris will have to be the integral part of any such effort. They are the
basic party and any solution acceptable to them will have to be accepted by the
(The writer is a member of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference executive)
Desecrate Places Of Worship
Lone Blames Pak For Growth Of Political Outfits In J&K
Stories on the Hurriyat Conference
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