The Problem of Kashmir: A discussion between Yasin Malik and Omar Abdullah 2005

* This Is How We Perceive The Problem Of Kashmir, Greater Kashmir Online, August 2005

Reproduced below is the full text of the discussion between Muhammad Yasin Malik, Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and Omar Abdullah, President National Conference, organized by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society on 31st July 2005 at College of Education, Srinagar. It includes presentation by Yaseen Malik and by Omar Abdullah, and followed by their responses to questions from the audience. The discussion was moderated by Parvez Bukhari.
Yaseen Malik: Chairman JKLF
Respected audience, young friends, today I am happy that I am amongst young students. For the last 10 years I tried very hard to talk with the students, but unfortunately the state never allowed us to have a direct interaction.

Although I was allowed to speak at JNU, Delhi University, St. Stephen’s College, Bombay University and Calcutta University but in Kashmir there were always barriers preventing interactions with the students. Three months ago when I went to the University for an Event honouring the memory of Aasia Jeelani but within 5 minutes they had cordoned the entire University in the fear that I was there to speak. Why? Why is the state afraid of us having a direct interaction with students? When I tried to figure out why, I came to the conclusion that whenever any nation faces difficulties, whether their freedom was taken or they faced some other issue -if anyone has played a role it was the youth. That is why Allama Iqbal dedicated all his writings to youth. He described youth as the interpreter of his dream.

According to psychologists, those youth that fall between the ages of 18 and 30 are in the age of fire, age of passion, selfless, and idealist. If you look at the history of freedom movement in the subcontinent whether it was Gandhi. Nehru or Jinnah sahib, they all started while they were in this age group. Allama Iqbal divided youth into 2 categories. One whom he compares to a falcon. Falcon is a kind of creature who flies tirelessly from one sky to another.

Uqabi rooh jab bedaar hoti hai jawanu main
Nazar aati hai unko apni manzil aasmaano main

Nahin tera Nashaiman kasre sultani kay gumband par
Tuu shaheen hai basera kar pahadun ki chatanu par

Shaheen kabi parwaaz say thak kar nahin girta
Pur dam hai gar tuu tou nahin khatrai uftaad

But there is another type of youth that is ruined by bad company. The youth between 18 and 30 will not turn bad on their own, but company ruins them. Regarding this Allama Iqbal said,

Hoyi Na zaag main paida buland-e- parwazy
Kharab kar gayee shaheen bachay ko suhbatay zaag

Afsoos sad afsoos ki shaheen na bana too
Samjay na tairee aankh nay fitrat kay isharat

When I try to look closely at Kashmir history and see what the role of youth has been. During the rule of the Maharaja there was suppression. If a Kashmiri encountered a soldier of the king he was expected to salute him and praise the king. Muslims were taxed when they crossed the bridges. During this era of suppression, there was a student who was the 1st Kashmiri Muslim with an M.Sc. degree.

When he came to Maisuma he saw a Kashmiri being beaten by a soldier for forgetting to salute him and praise the king, that youth who had just completed his M.Sc. from Aligarh Muslim University was watching this scene. He slapped the soldier, that slap was a slap against suppression, an act that no Kashmiri could have imagined at that time. the news spread through out Kashmir like wildfire. This youth became the heartbeat of Kashmiris. His name was Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. People were willing to die in his name. But as a psychologist writes when anybody starts doing any work in this age group his vigour and idealism reigns supreme. But with the passage he gets psychologically exhausted. As he gets exhausted, he frames others according to his opinion. With the result he leaves the path that he was pursuing and charts a new course. At that time a psychologist writes to this person and says that today you are leaving as a 50or 60 years old, but that 18 year old that you once were has been reborn and will take over. If you look at the 50-60 year history of Kashmir carefully every Kashmiri politician that adopted Delhi’s line used the freedom movement as their launching pad. Sheikh sahib, Bakhshee sahib, Sadiq sahib, Mir Qasim, Mufti Sayeed,Ghulam Rasool Kar, Everybody started with Kashmiri freedom movement including Farooq Abdullah sahib, who was a member of the JKLF. He gave a new slogan to Kashmiris in 1974 after taking oath from Maqbool Bhat Sahib. “YOUR NATION MY NATION, KASHMIRI NATION, KASHMIRI NATION”.

When the movement began in 1988 another youth came. If you look carefully, all these youth were the product of the revolutionary movement of the National Conference and from there they emerged again. Whether it was Ishfaq Sahib, Hameed Sahib or whether it was Nadeem Khateeb. Nadeem parents had sent him to America in order to make his future, where his income was thirty lakhs. He was a commercial pilot. He came back and nobody knew his grave was in the mountains of Doda.

When youth emerged again in 1988 they brought the revolution. Just
imagine when Rajeev Gandhi came here in 1990 he declared that Kashmir was lost. There was no path for India. But unfortunately the same movement was harmed by our own hands. Some Kashmir leaders went to Delhi and told them to be patient, wait, kill Kashmiris and the movement will die down. But all those options were used which could be effective in breaking the will power of a layman. Government of India used every kind of option.. Killing people, beating people, humiliating people – but still the movement did not die. Because.. I have been given the slip to conclude my speech I have one request for the youth present here. Today when India’s violent weapon has failed they have resorted to a new weapon – “CORRUPTION”. The weapon of corruption is far more dangerous then the weapon of suppression. When a nation is morally and materially corrupted the people loose their ability to reason. I just want to make a request. The weapon of corruption has the potential to destroy our nation and I implore you to be cautious.

I would like to read a sentence from the Prof. Mujeeb Sahib’s speech, which he delivered to students at Aligarh Muslim University.
“Become a friend of work. Ignore benefits and drawbacks. Adopt the ways of a giver not the ways of a taker. You may have seen many potholes that are representative of the hollowness of their condition and degradation of their society. These potholes are filled by rainwater and nearby drainage. There may be water in them but how unappealing! People even use this water but with much reluctance. It is as bad as having to beg. There is also water in the springs that comes from the mountains and goes on flowing. How majestic are they? How much are they respected? People are proud of these springs. If we look at it as a merchant, ponds keep all their goods in one place, while springs keep flowing and distribute them. The decision is in your hands. Whether you adopt the ways of the spring or the pond. I don’t need to suggest that those who adopt the ways of the giver don’t have to bear a loss. But for those people, poets from all over the world write rhythmic songs. They can see a glimpse of their own beauty in the eyes of others. Only he, who can shun the desire for comfort from his heart, can adopt the ways of the spring and distribute his resources.

* Omar Abdullah: President National Conference

Chairman JKLF Muhammad Yaseen Malik Sahib, the moderator for this
morning’s interactive session, members of the Coalition of Civil
Society, ladies and gentlemen.

At the outset, I think it is only fair that a little slip lying here
that says apologise for security check ups should come from me and not
from any body else. Because quite clearly the security is because of my
presence. If I were not present here you would not have been frisked, so
I apologise for that.

It is an unfortunate sign of the times that we live in. That we cannot interact amongst ourselves, we cannot share our vision statements, we cannot spend two hours of a morning together without a barrage of security checks, jammers and all sorts of other paraphernalia’s. But I live in the hope that this is a temporary phase that will pass and let us hope that it is good sooner than later.

Now, we are here to discuss and debate our visions for a respective future
of Jammu and Kashmir. Where we see it. How we see it. How we propose to achieve it. In this, the J&K National Conference is at its, is in the biggest disadvantage, because quite honestly we are the only party that has come forward with a clear vision statements and therefore we are the only party that set ourselves up to be shot down. You like our vision statement or you don’t like but it is there in front of you. We say that barring India and Pakistan agree some sort of miracle is needed for a better solution, the only way forward for Jammu and Kashmir is to have the maximum level of autonomy restored to both sides and to allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to travel freely across what is called the Line of Control, what they chose to call it that time. It is another matter.

If somebody can convince the leadership on both sides to come forward with a better solution that people of Jammu and Kashmir find more acceptable, the J&K National Conference will not come in the way but infact work to ensure that is the solution that works its way here. Now we can’t be clear in that but our problem is that we have to counter mainstream political parties and others who perhaps are a lot more ambiguous than we are. Let us take the mainstream political parties to start with, there is nobody from PDP (People Democratic Party)here, but I dare to say if we are going to ask them what is your vision for or a solution to Jammu and Kashmir, it will start with “Iss main mera yeh hai”. And go nowhere from there. Fine, we advocate dialogue as much as the next person but dialogue in what lines, what is the dialogue to achieve. When Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh speaking on behalf of the government of India said that territorial boundaries cannot be redrawn. Fine. That is his compulsion.

When General Musharaf says that the solution to Jammu and Kashmir must keep in mind India’s secular fabric, what is he saying? Have we thought what a dramatic shift has taken place in Pakistan’s official thinking, when the President of Pakistan recognises India’s secular credentials not Pakistan’s compulsions, not of people of Jammu and Kashmir’s compulsion. When the President of Pakistan says, that the solution to Jammu and Kashmir will involve maximum self-governance to the two parts, what is he advocating? Somebody said if a rose by any other name will smell just as sweet, so I ask where does our autonomy end and where does General Parvaiz Musharaf’s maximum self-governance start? Where does our solution lie along the decisions of 1947 end and where does Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement that borders cannot be redrawn and General Parvez Musharaf’s assertion that India’s secular compulsion or fabric will have to be kept in mind when a solution is drawn. Is it that we recognised the ground realities much before anybody else or is it that we have been mistaken and somehow a better solution will emerge out of the 16 years of death and destruction, I don’t know. but what I have been saying and which has got me fair amount of criticism over the last few weeks is that we need to be clear with the people – We need to tell the people that where are we coming from and what we stand for. We need to be able to convince. I mean, let us take the concept of Azaadi, what do we mean, when we advocate Azaadi. Freedom for both regions of Jammu and Kashmir, freedom only for the part of Jammu and Kashmir that is with India, freedom only for the Kashmir valley, or freedom only for North Kashmir, Central Kashmir and south Kashmir. What are we advocating? Do we believe that if ever for a moment India were willing to give Jammu and Kashmir its freedom, will Pakistan give Jammu and Kashmir its freedom? One small Dam in Jammu called Baghliar and look what a fuss Pakistan has created over the dam that is a run of the river project. Can you imagine a free Jammu and Kashmir where we control our own rivers, where we can dam them, as we like, where we can block water, as we like, where we can stop water as we like and Pakistan not being upset and afraid and then we expect that they will fight for our freedom? Our freedom threatens them, that is what we don’t understand, they have used our desire for a better solution to their own ends and today after 9/11 when the ground situation has changed their line has changed and it is a fact. Their line has not changed because I am saying, it has changed, their line has changed because all of you have listened to the radio, watched television and read the newspapers. And therefore we need to come together and decide how best we can get something out of these last 16 years of death and destruction. I had honestly hoped when this delegation travelled across, that in some way that they would convince those on the other side to bring down the level of violence. I understand that the unilateral ceasefire would be impossible to ask for but I even now earnestly appeal to them to make an appeal to the other side. There are ways to fight even an armed conflict. The Irish Republican Army IRA did it for 30 years but ensured that there won’t be any civilians before exploding devices. Today we have a strange situation when devices are put outside schools and no warning is given. By all means if Jammu and Kashmir can be made free, make it. We will not come in your way. In 1990 when it appeared that Jammu and Kashmir perhaps was heading that way, we closed up, we left, and we did not fight. Yaseen Malik Sahib and the other separatist leadership, we didn’t… Some went to Jammu, some went to Delhi and some left the country and waited for the new solution to emerge to the problem in Jammu and Kashmir but he is right, the movement was corrupted. It was corrupted from within and it was corrupted from outside. It is a fact that the leadership in 1990, 91, 92, .. That was able to draw hundreds of thousands of people on the single slogan of Char-e-Sharief Chalo, the last vehicle had not even left Srinagar and the beginning of the convoy has reached Char-e-Sharief. That was the level of popularity that those leaders enjoyed in that day. Today on the slogan of Char-e-Sharief Chalo, you would have to do it on a Friday, that too want people to come out of the mosque, why? Because the leadership has been corrupted and the people here feel that there is going to be sell out. On what lines the solution will emerge, we want to know. I don’t want to know as the president of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, I want to know as a resident of here. OK on the one side I have autonomy, what do I get from the other side? If I am told that we would work towards the united states of Kashmir, what is United States of Kashmir? If I am told joint sovereignty, what is joint sovereignty? If I am told Azaadi, what is Azaadi? I have always said that as an individual if somebody can convince me that there is a better solution to autonomy, a more practical solution to autonomy, a more realistic solution to autonomy, I would be the first person to go back to my party and ask them to consider it. But I cannot convince people on hollow slogans, I need something substantial, I need a vision, I need a document. I need a map and I think that is where we, all of us, as the leadership, as we call ourselves, of the state, that is where we have failed you. We have kept our own constituencies alive; we have sought to keep our own areas warm. I have sort to get myself elected to the parliament every once in a while. Somebody has sought some other constituency but as a leadership we have failed to come forward with a collective vision of what Jammu and Kashmir should look like at the end of this problem, when a solution finally is made available to us.

Nobody is our friend; please believe me: we don’t have friends in New Delhi and we don’t have friends in Islamabad. It is only when collectively we are able to come forward with some sort of a practical vision that we will be able to convince people. It has always been the aim of the leadership in New Delhi to divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Hamesha Chahatay thay ki har mohallay say ek leader khada ho jaye. Every town should produce its own leader. There should never be another Sheikh Abdullah; behind which almost the entire population of Kashmir will follow and to a large extent they have succeeded. Today, I, fight Mehbooba, Mehbooba fights somebody else. I will criticize Yaseen Malik Sahib and Yaseen Malik Sahib will criticize somebody else. And we are so busy fighting amongst ourselves that New Delhi and Islamabad will do damn what they like and we will not know what is happening and that is why I am extremely grateful to the Coalition of Civil Society that they have given an opportunity like this because we would never have the chance to interact. It would be difficult for him, almost impossible for me. He would be called a traitor and I would be called a separatist, anti-national and in today’s scenario that would, I don’t know what it would do to him, but I would be out. Which is why I, you know the problem is we are so busy fighting amongst ourselves.

I went to Toronto in December last year, and I got to speak like this to a group of Kashmiris from both sides. There were also members from the Kashmiri Pandit community and in that I said that I have a great degree of regard for Yaseen Malik Sahib and his signature campaign because I do not see what he is asking for in his signature campaign that I as a Kashmiri can oppose. He is not asking people to sign for autonomy, he is not asking people to sign for Azaadi, he is not asking for people to sign to be a part of Pakistan, all he is saying is that when the final settlement to the problem in Kashmir is done, please include the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, that is logical. I only curse myself. I didn’t..before him. Otherwise I would have started it before he did. Now he did it, I can’t do it; otherwise it will look like I am following him. But I only have to say this and when I finished my speech some of the separatist leadership comes to me and said what have you done? Why have you done this? Why are you glorifying him? You should have criticized his signature campaign. Now you are making him a bigger leader and you are making yourself look smaller. How I make myself look small when I agree with what he is doing? Now if this is the state of our separatist leadership, what are we going to do? If we cannot bring our separatist leadership under one umbrella, how on earth do you expect him and me to share a common platform and that is why forums like this must be used? I will be honest with you, my initial reaction to the invitation was to say, nahi mujhay maff karo. I will not come, khamakha phass jaon ga. There will be hooting, there will be whistling, there will be all sorts of things and I am very hot blooded. At the first sign of any trouble, that is the door; I will be out of it. But then I realised that forums like this have their use, they give us an opportunity to understand each other, for you to try and understand where I am coming from and me to try and understand what your beliefs are. I may not be able to convince you, you may not be able to convince me but at least we are talking to each other. And I think that is the beginning because no solution will come and no solution will work until we talk to each other. It has to be amongst ourselves first only than can we convince the promises in Islamabad and the powers in Delhi of what we want and what we believe is achievable and that is why forums like this I hope they can take you. I hope they take place at a time when I consider myself in the audience. I am keen to listen to what other participants in future discussions have to say. As I said, if a better solution can emerge from this 16 years of violence than the one I have advocated…. So please make it and we will be the first ones to welcome you with garlands. But at least make your vision clear so that we understand where you have come from.
Thank you.

Moderator, Parvez Bukhari:

Thank you Mr. Omar Abdullah
Now the real interaction between you and the leaders representing conflicting points of views about what they think of the people they claim to represent. I have already received question from all of you and what we will really do is, I will call upon the individuals who have sent their questions separately so that they can ask their questions directly to the leaders to whom they address. I am sure now the very basic purpose of you interaction with the people with very diverse and conflicting point of view claim to be representative will ask their questions directly to them.

Question to Mr. Omar Abdullah 

Javed Ahmed: The world has changed completely so far as the trends particularly political trends are concerned, where you find the ideology of your flag, NC flag in the age of technology. How far you are determined to the state autonomy if highly than why do the NC became the ally of BJP led NDA as it’s obvious of Article 370 is one of their slogans, why NC its changes its colour, 1st Plebiscite Front than joining BJP and now again autonomy what next.

Omar Abdullah: Two very different questions. Our ideology with regard to technology is slightly different question to answer because we have been talking politics than, I will start getting to economics. As far as autonomy and technology are concerned I don’t think there is any co-relation there. As far as technology for the future of the state is concern obviously we wanted to see technology used to reduce the levels of unemployment to give you as youngsters new avenues of employment that are so far denied to you and that is why I both as a minister in the centre as well as when our state government was here, we tried to formulate a policy both for information technology and bio-technology. I was instrumental in having a software technology park set up here for precisely the reason that the sorts of companies like Infosys, WIPRO and others that are mushrooming, flourishing in other parts of country. I don’t believe all of us are Azim Premjis and all of us are Narayan Murthys but may be an entrepreneur that can come and use this technology and infrastructure to set something out. Obviously for the future also, we will seek to highlight the need for technology to be brought to J&K so that the youngsters of today can use it but that is a different issue and we leave that aside for now. On the far more tricky question that you asked as to where the NC stands and why we had moved things around. We didn’t join the BJP, we join the NDA. There is a slight difference if you care to stretch things a bit. The NDA had an agenda different from the BJP’s agenda. Article 370, common civil code, the constriction of Babri Masjid didn’t feature in the agenda of NDA, which made it possible for us to work with them. We were also under this mistaken impression that being an ally in the centre rather than at loggerheads with the centre we will get more support from them in terms of finance, in terms of development, in terms of other things which people want aside from the overall solution, political solution to the Kashmir issue. People want electricity, they want health care, they want roads, they want bridges, and they want all sorts of other things which cost money. We believe that we would get that money if we were an ally. We were mistaken but you learn from your mistakes and hopefully it is a mistake that we won’t repeat again. What next for the NC we are in opposition for the time being. What happens in November, I don’t know, what will happen after that again I don’t know? For the time being we are very happy for the role we are playing opposition party and will continue to do that.

Question to Yaseen Malik 

Farhat Mantoo: When you spoke for 30 minutes on history, on psychology and everything I want as a common Kashmiri to hear from you the vision
statement of JKLF for Kashmir.

Yaseeen Malik: As far as the JKLF vision is concerned I don’t think JKLF has a new vision. As you know before the birth of Pakistan and the independence of India Kashmir was a sovereign independent country. Our vision is that we want to restore that sovereign status to the J&K and as far as the economy is concerned I believe that I have told when I was in the USA. I was in Howard University and I said that Kashmiri people have talent. As far as South Asia is concerned it is the brightest talent in the south Asia. These Kashmiri people can help global community in constructive ways but when our sovereignty was snatched we have become orphans, as Omar was talking about Baglihar Dam project people use to laugh on us when we said in 1990 that Kashmiri people have the resources. There were questions raised, one single question that is it possible that J&K can survive economically, even Dr. Farooq Abdullah he came to see me in prison in 1993 in Delhi this was the question he asked, how we can survive economically, I said we have water resources. This is patrol, he started of even laughing. As every Kashmiri was, and to day it has been proved and people have started writing books that if Kashmiri water resources can be utilized Kashmir’s yearly income will be much more that Saudi economy. It will be more than 5 billion dollars. Right from 1947 till now we have become beggars either to the doors of Delhi or Islamabad. If you are clear we need to consolidate our voice than we must affiliate ourselves to the people of the J&K than we cannot go to the doors of Delhi or Islamabad. We must believe in it. It should not be a hollow slogan. That is what Kashmiri leaders are doing right from 1947, they are telling one thing in Srinagar, another in Delhi and another in Islamabad i.e. reason we all Kashmiri leaders get discredited in front of the international community. When they are in power they are speaking one thing when they are ‘in opposition they are saying another. Mufti Syed who was Home Minister he send Jagmohan to kill us, and when he was in opposition his daughter started praising the militants. today when they are in power you see just forty hours back she speaks here in a park she said children have been killed in Kupwara, gun is justified, tomorrow her another statement he started accusing Parvez Musharraf to stop militants from entering Kashmir. They go out with these kinds of images, 6 images ‘in 24 hours. I will tell you honestly, the first problem with Kashmiri leaders is the credibility. we are suffering from credibility crises. we must restore our credibility first.

Question to Yaseen Malik

Salfi Muzaffar: I wanted to know you have launched freedom struggle for Kashmir since 1988. Is all the community of J and K agreeing your proposal at that time? If not what is your programme to convince them?

Yaseen Malik: As for as our programme is concerned and whether the people in different regions accept this programme or not. Honestly speaking in Jammu , there was a division and we are trying our level best. We have started communication channels with Jammu people and response is very positive. Second important thing is I want to make some interventions-……solutions….. I was in USA , 3 people Prof Stefen Cohen, Director of Brinklyns institute, and assistant secretary of state in Clinton ’s time Mr. Indeforth. They met me and asked me a question. Question was.. Do you understand the Indian and Pakistani compulsions in Kashmir ? I said I do understand Indian and Pakistani compulsions in Kashmir . They said, can you explain? I said both India and Pakistan have a national security interest problems in Kashmir . Second important thing that I have visited both India and Pakistan . I found both Indian and Pakistani citizens are romantically involved in Kashmir and this has become a national ego for both India and Pakistan . I said even the Kashmiri people need to accommodate the national security interest and national ego of both India and Pakistan . In return both India and Pakistan need to respect and accept the national aspirations of the people of J and K. he told me can you say it openly, I said no. He said, why? I said, India is not budging a single inch from its stand that Kashmir is an integral part of India and you are telling me that you should give this comment. This is confusion. Somebody is telling autonomy. When 1996 fraudulent elections took place, then there is one person in Delhi , an anchor from India Today and Aaj Tak, Prabhu Chawla. His comment was (that) we have defeated those people who were asking for Azaadi. After three years Farooq Abdullah got autonomy bill in the assembly and at that time, I was in Delhi hospital admitted for surgery and I was watching the TV in my hospital room. The same day they introduced the bill, the same Prabhu Chawla came on the TV, he said who is Farooq Abdullah we made him the Chief Minister. It is the Indian army who casted votes for him and today how can he bring an autonomy bill in the assembly. My question is why we are playing wittingly or unwittingly. Why we are giving concessions. I said we will give flexibility at the negotiating table. None of the Kashmiris until now is engaged in the dialogue process. Tell me one Kashmiri, who can tell me “I was knowing this bus will go”, Mufti Sayed to win the voters, he installed boards. Until now the engagement of Kashmiri people in this dialogue process is through media. There I said to the President of Pakistan that Kashmiri people are feeling as a nation humiliated, when they are listening and watching what will be their future through, radio, TV and newspapers. Now people have given sacrifices. Because of these sacrifices there is a pressure on both India and Pakistan to resolve this issue. So whatever will be the solution it will be because of the sacrifices, which have been given from last 15 years. So now, why we are going, when even we have not been invited and we are going to the negotiating table with a discount sale.

Question to Omar Abdullah

Y Malik (Baramulla): If you are really interested that Kashmir issue should be solved peacefully once for all, then why don’t you join the hands of the separatist umbrella?

Omar Abdullah: Well ok.

Number of things need to be talked about because the number of times Yaseen Malik Sahib has directed a comment in my direction and I haven’t been able to respond. He talked about how 600 of his colleagues died, because they had picked up the gun and put it down and how many times the assassination attempts have been made on him, even how many times he has been arrested. I understand and I don’t dispute those facts. But need I remind him that my organisation has lost thousands of people without even having picked up a gun. I myself have faced six assassination attempts and I never picked up a gun. The only discrepancy between your and mine bio-data is that you have been arrested and I have not been. And, I am trying very hard to get Mufti Sayed to arrest me. Now autonomy – permanent solution – Azaadi, fine these are very well. What is to guarantee that solution you bring or Malik sahib will bring be a permanent solution. There is no guarantee. It is all very well, we are an emotional nation that is the thing we don’t like to think practically and even if somebody brings a practical point of view, we don’t like it. But let us be practical. What is the guarantee that your Prime Minister tomorrow forget Shaikh Sahib, was arrested by a constable and that is done. What is your guarantee that your Prime Minister tomorrow will not be abducted by the troops of some other nations? There is no guarantee. Did the people of Iraq have a guarantee before US ( United States ) invaded them. Did the people of Afghanistan have a guarantee before US invaded them. The UN (United Nations) could not stop Iraq from being invaded. Are they going to stop Jammu and Kashmir from being invaded? If some country decides it wants to? I mean the way we leave behind our practicality when we start discussing Kashmir issue. Yes autonomy is something I don’t like. Fine. I have told once and again bring something better than autonomy. Convince me. I will come with you. You are asking me to join separatists’ leadership because I don’t know how to hoodwink the people. I don’t believe that the separatists will be able to bring about an Azaadi for the region of Jammu and Kashmir . My grandfather spent 22 years in jail or in interrogation centres or in exile. He spent it. He didn’t hand over guns to youngsters here. He didn’t go and sit in Saudi Arabia or Dubai or some other place and said “Yahaan bandook pakdo aur maro, main tou khush hoon peechay baithay baithay”. He went to jail, he suffered, his colleagues suffered but he recognised the ground reality after 22 years that some leaders are recognising today after 16 years. The only difference is he suffered alone. Today’s leadership has perhaps ensured that many more innocent people have suffered. I would love to see a solution outside and beyond what the NC (National Conference) has advocated. But please excuse me and forgive me for being practical. I am yet to be convinced, convince me. I am educated person, I have seen the world, I have an open mind. Convince me, I can assure you, I will be quite happy to join you. I cant you with my organisation but I can leave my organisation and join you. But convince me. And if you can’t convince me, let it be. Because then I will work to convince you.

Question to Omar Abdullah:

Dr. Mir Faisal: You are saying if you can convince me, you will probably leave your organisation or whatever. But I want to tell you one thing all the nation, all the people, those one lakh people have died. Don’t they convince you that something is wrong in your state?

Omar Abdullah: Have you at any point of discussion heard me telling you that nothing is wrong, and everything is fine and that was all wasted sacrifices? I don’t believe even for a moment that I have advocated that. I am saying that change is necessary and a solution is required. The only difference is that the solution you see and the solutions I see have gaps between it. I am the first person who will say that I would like to see the sacrifices of those 100,000 people not go in vain. But the problem is that I don’t see that happening because I see the people who have glorified their own movements on the basis of these sacrifices now giving it up. Barring a few people who are still living in the same houses they started in. Please pick any of the separatist leadership and see where they are today and tell me who has taken the cream of these sacrifices.

Dr. Mir Faisal: So why don’t you step aside. Why are you creating hurdles in front of separatist leaders?

Omar Abdullah: I have put no hurdles. You tell me at any point where I have tried to stop the dialogue. I was a Minister in the government of India . I was on the Prime Minister’s plane travelling. I was asked by the National Security Adviser and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Mr. Brajesh Mishra. What I felt about leaders like Mr. Yaseen Malik being given passport so that they could travel to Pakistan . And my answer to him was that for you it is a win win situation. Let them go because at that time there objective was to bring out the levels of violence in Jammu and Kashmir . I did not feel threatened by their going. I said by all means let them go if they bring down the levels of violence. Good for you. Good for people of Jammu and Kashmir . And if they fail in bringing down the level of violence. They will have been isolated, they will be shown to have no say in the situation, get aside and you don’t have anything to do with them. Now that is not the hurdle. That is advocating the cause; I have continued the cause of advocating a dialogue between them and the New Delhi . Now if they cannot clear an agenda. If they cannot come together on a common platform, why do you blame me? I did not tell Geelani Sahib to leave the Hurriyat Conference and make the two parts of it. I did not tell Bilal and Sajaad to start fighting each other. I did not tell the Hurriyat Conference that when the Prime Minister of India invited them for a dialogue to turn out and say no I don’t come now, I first want to go to Pakistan and meet Musharaf and then I will come to India . That was not my doing. That was separatist leadership doing. So, why blame me for everything that has gone wrong. Why don’t you advocate blame where it is desired. I take my share of blame. I have never denied that mistakes have been made by my family, by me and by my organisation. But I will not take everything of it.

Question to Yaseen Malik:

Suhail: You said that leadership is corrupted. Does it include Hurriyat leadership? And second point is who corrupted them. India or Pakistan or both?

Yaseen Malik: When I used the word corruption and who corrupted them… both Delhi and Islamabad . The reason is simple and it is visible also. It is not a mere accusation. When a person gets morally and materially corrupted then he or she starts talking nonsense, they will contradict their own statements and then they will tell this is flexibility. I am also for flexibility. I want this to get clear to Omar that we went to Pakistan for a different mission. My visit to Pakistan was transparent right from Srinagar . The message was clear and transparent that India and Pakistan cannot decide the fate of my people. If they want to resolve it through peaceful means than Kashmiri people must be the part of the dialogue process between India and Pakistan . Not for a dialogue process, which is merely a photo opportunity dialogue process? India and Pakistan will decide my fate but if we will be there it will be just a photo opportunity with Manmohan Singh and Musharaf. It has happened right from 47. First Delhi corrupts Kashmiri leaders behind the scene then the dialogue process will start and they will ultimately land in Delhi . It has happened right from 47. We have seen that accord. Today the question is now the hundred thousand lives. This huge sacrifice, which Kashmiri people have never given in the 5000 year old history. Now what situation demands from us? What situation demands from Omar? He is a young, educated youth. At least for Gods sake he should learn something from history, I told Farooq in 1993 he can ask him. I said in 1993 there were about 40 thousand people martyred. I said Farooq Sahib if you will see they are 40 thousand, I think 35 thousand will be the supporters of the NC (National Conference). This movement has again been started from the revolutionary supporters of the National Conference, which did not agree to 1975 Indra-Abdullah accord. My family background whether from village side my father belongs to Kokernag and his brother-inlaw was NC MLA for 15 years. He was the deputy speaker. My background in Maisuma – the National Conference background – the background of Ishfaq. It should be an eye opener for you. Where is the sentiment. What is the sentiment of the people? If autonomy is the sentiment, his autonomy has been almost rejected by India but what he is doing in assembly. Because there was a two third majority in 1996 election. They failed to make it constitution. The question is Delhi is playing with us, with every person, with me. I am a hardliner. With Omar, he is a moderate, another he is a moderate, another he is a hardliner. So, these are the vocabularies of Delhi . We have to understand now how we can better serve people. I will just advice one thing to my all friends and leaders that unless and until we will not come out from the influence of Delhi and Islamabad we cannot think positively for the solution of Kashmir . Whatever is the flexibility? But now the question is.. Omar has an autonomy vision. His party is fighting for years together, what is the output, yesterday Omar was foreign Minister, today Omar is nowhere. I advice the people that you must become the leader of the people and not the leader of the establishment.

Question to Yaseen Malik:

Salfi Muzaffar: I wanted to know you have launched freedom struggle for Kashmir since 1988. Is all the community of J and K agreeing your proposal at that time? If not what is your programme to convince them?

Yaseen Malik: As for as our programme is concerned and whether the people in different regions accept this programme or not. Honestly speaking in Jammu , there was a division and we are trying our level best. We have started communication channels with Jammu people and response is very positive. Second important thing is I want to make some interventions-……solutions….. I was in USA , 3 people Prof Stefen Cohen, Director of Brinklyns institute, and assistant secretary of state in Clinton ’s time Mr. Indeforth. They met me and asked me a question. Question was.. Do you understand the Indian and Pakistani compulsions in Kashmir ? I said I do understand Indian and Pakistani compulsions in Kashmir . They said, can you explain? I said both India and Pakistan have a national security interest problems in Kashmir . Second important thing that I have visited both India and Pakistan . I found both Indian and Pakistani citizens are romantically involved in Kashmir and this has become a national ego for both India and Pakistan . I said even the Kashmiri people need to accommodate the national security interest and national ego of both India and Pakistan . In return both India and Pakistan need to respect and accept the national aspirations of the people of J and K. he told me can you say it openly, I said no. He said, why? I said, India is not budging a single inch from its stand that Kashmir is an integral part of India and you are telling me that you should give this comment. This is confusion. Somebody is telling autonomy. When 1996 fraudulent elections took place, then there is one person in Delhi , an anchor from India Today and Aaj Tak, Prabhu Chawla. His comment was (that) we have defeated those people who were asking for Azaadi. After three years Farooq Abdullah got autonomy bill in the assembly and at that time, I was in Delhi hospital admitted for surgery and I was watching the TV in my hospital room. The same day they introduced the bill, the same Prabhu Chawla came on the TV, he said who is Farooq Abdullah we made him the Chief Minister. It is the Indian army who casted votes for him and today how can he bring an autonomy bill in the assembly. My question is why we are playing wittingly or unwittingly. Why we are giving concessions. I said we will give flexibility at the negotiating table. None of the Kashmiris until now is engaged in the dialogue process. Tell me one Kashmiri, who can tell me “I was knowing this bus will go”, Mufti Sayed to win the voters, he installed boards. Until now the engagement of Kashmiri people in this dialogue process is through media. There I said to the President of Pakistan that Kashmiri people are feeling as a nation humiliated, when they are listening and watching what will be their future through, radio, TV and newspapers. Now people have given sacrifices. Because of these sacrifices there is a pressure on both India and Pakistan to resolve this issue. So whatever will be the solution it will be because of the sacrifices, which have been given from last 15 years. So now, why we are going, when even we have not been invited and we are going to the negotiating table with a discount sale.

 

source

Advertisements

About Al Shaheed

writing wounds without the trace of blood
This entry was posted in Kashmir, Kashmir Talks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s