Geelani wants Kashmiris to monitor India, Pak talks
19 June 2004
News Network International
Srinagar: On the eve of the Indo-Pak talks on nuclear Confidence Building Measures, the chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that the Kashmiris should be given the chance of monitoring the talks so that they can also become a part of the dialogue process later on. He was addressing a public meeting here. He said, 'We are not against the talks, but what we want is that the Kashmiris are included in the dialogue process since Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiris and it is they who have to decide about their future'. He added that nobody has got the right of deciding about the destiny of Kashmiris. Geelani said that India should accept the disputed nature of the Kashmir issue and only then the talks can be helpful in finding a long lasting solution to the problem. He added that it is unfortunate that even after 57 years the government of India is rigid on its stand that Kashmir is its integral part, Kashmir Times reported. 'Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination which has been duly acknowledged by both India and Pakistan' said the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G). He added that it was India which had approached the United Nations Organization (UNO) in ensuring that the Kashmiris are given the right to self-determination. Geelani said that there are only two options available to the people of the state and that it either they have to accede with India or Pakistan. He added that the Kashmir issue is linked with the future of 13 million people and it is they who should be given the chance of choosing their own destiny. He said the government of India has been exposed on the international front as atrocities have been perpetrated against the minorities and it is going on. He added that the recent killing of an Imam at Bogund-Kulgam shows that even the religious people are not being spared by the security forces while dealing with the militants. Geelani said that it is necessary that the government of India should send back its forces to the barracks and disband the Disturbed Areas Act which is presently in force in the state. He added that such steps would lead to some satisfaction among the common masses and they would feel some change in the ground situation. He said that since 1947 more than 40,000 anti-Muslim riots have taken place in India and all of them have occurred at different times when the Congress party was at the helm of affairs. He added that the Gujarat riots in 2002 exposed the real nature of 'Indian secularism and democracy'. Launching a scathing attack on the role of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), Geelani said the member countries of this organization have turned into slaves of the powerful forces in the world. He added that the OIC which comprises 57 member countries should come forward and portray the 'atrocities' being committed on the Muslims in various parts of the globe before the international community. Later the chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (G) led the protest demonstrations at the Abi-Guzar Chowk. The protestors were carrying the hoardings and placards demanding that the 'state terrorism' should be stopped. They also raised pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans. Various constituents of the Hurriyat Conference (G) including the Muslim Khawateen Markaz took part in the demonstrations. There was heavy deployment of police in the area so that there is no untoward incident.