August 1999 News


Hurriyat Criticizes Pakistan

26 August 1999
The Asian Age
By: Seema Mustafa

NEW DELHI: The All Parties Hurriyat Conference has trained its guns on old friend and benefactor, Pakistan, for the first time in decades with "the weak policies of the Pakistani government and its parasitic nature" being held responsible for converting Kashmir from an international to a border issue between India and Pakistan.

In a pamphlet titled: Kargil: A Short Review, Hurriyat leader Sayyid Ali Geelani has been very critical of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's joint agreement with US President Bill Clinton. He has said that the Pakistan government was "wide of the mark" in its claim that the Kashmir issue had been internationalised for the first time although it had been "on the world agenda since 1947."

The Tashknet and Shimla agreements have done irreparable damage to the basic and international status of Kashmir, says Mr. Geelani, adding: "And now the ad nauseam repetition of the Lahore declaration and bilateral talks in damaging it even further." The visit by Mr. Sharif to Washington is "nothing but blatant unfaithfulness to the fifty-one-year-old freedom struggle and the 10-year-old bloody and self-sacrificing movement," according to Mr. Geelani, who insists that this "apologetic policy" has reopened old wounds.

The pamphlet has been widely circulated in Pakistan with leading newspapers, like the Nation, reporting from it and writing editorials about the shift in Hurriyat policy. Increasingly, Mr. Geelani has dedicated his short review to "the falcon-like ghazis and the angel-like martyrs."

Mr. Geelani goes on to state that Pakistan has "gained nothing but damage and loss over the last half a century by joining alliances with the US." In a strange reversal of old positions, the Hurriyat leader has lashed out at the Americans claiming that the US is nobody's friend although it wants all countries to become dependent on it. Pakistan should have become wise to the US during the Bangladesh war and should have never looked again "towards the US with covetous expressions," he says.

Mr. Geelani is also very critical of the United Nations for "never using its influence to enforce its resolutions" by pressurising India. The 50 countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference have also been attacked by the Hurriyat leader for "not using their clout in a unified manner" and doing little more than passing resolutions to resolve the Kashmir issue.

The Hurriyat leader has a novel explanation for his stand that the Pakistan Army might not have been involved in the Kargil conflict. "In the long light of a long history of lies and deceit it is difficult to believe that the Pakistani Army is present with the freedom-loving Mujahideen in the Kargil sector," he states in the pamphlet but if the Pakistan regulars were present then their government should say so clearly.

Mr. Geelani has claimed repeatedly in the pamphlet that "the whole of Jammu and Kashmir is Kargil" and the two cannot be separated.

He has been highly critical of India and its position on Kashmir making it clear that his organisation is committed to an autonomous Kashmir with Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as a component.

His appeal to the rest of India is based on non-violence as he seeks to focus on the needles loss of life and the large sums of money being spent to retain Jammu and Kashmir.

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