April 2005 News

Musharraf Tells Hurriyat Leaders To 'use Brain', Slams Hardliner Geelani

18 April 2005
The Indian Express

Islamabad: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has flayed the opposition to Srinagar-Muzafarabad bus service by hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani and militant groups and told the separatist outfits to consider India's offer for talks saying this could lead to trilateral dialogue. Asserting that the bus service was agreed to after gauging the popular demand for it on both sides of LoC, Musharraf told the Pakistan media before leaving for Delhi to Manila that he has not understood the logic behind the opposition to the bus link. 'If someone still is against it, talks about only solution… Well, we are heading for solution. What is the logic behind it? This is the demand by people. We have assessed the demands of the people... This a popular move, they want to travel and want to meet relatives. If someone opposes, what is the issue? What to do?, He said in the media briefing telecast by state-owned PTV. Replying to a question about demand for including Kashmiris in talks, Musharraf dropped an open hint for the Hurriyat leaders saying they should use their 'brain' and join the talks with India and Pakistan separately as it is the step in the direction of trilateral talks. 'One side (India) is not accepting (trilateral talks). We have no option but to talk. Let us talk. Begin talks. I left no doubt that without their (Kashmiris) wishes there cannot be a solution. We have to include them in talks sometime or the other,' Musharraf said. 'Geelani sahib knows this. Still, he is saying (what he is saying). They (Indians) say why don't you tell them to meet (us). I bluntly said why should I tell them to meet (you). I too want to meet. If I am not allowed to meet them, then why should I tell them to meet? They agreed. So, the meeting took place. I said if you are allowing (Hurriyat to meet Pakistan), then you also meet. In my view, this is inclusion of dialogue process. They (Hurriyat) do not understand this. Use your brain and move forward and think 'yaar'. Open your mind and sitting together is not everything,' the Pakistan President said. Replying to a question about allegations about human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, a candid Pakistan President said linked these charges as well as militant attacks 'as chicken and egg scenario.' 'While it is true that human rights violations were taking places... During the talks, Indian leaders also pointed about militants attack on bus service,' he said hinting that whenever he raised the issue, Indian pointed out continued violence by militants. Referring to his theory of converting Line of Control (LoC) into a soft border before finding a solution to the Kashmir issue, Musharraf said, 'Soft border is not a solution but a facilitation towards a solution.' Ultimately efforts should be to withdraw the army and make life better for the Kashmiris, he said and added, 'We should look for a solution to readdress the problems of the people. Those who are against it, they take an extreme view saying that it should wait till solution. It is a complicated issue... There are so many differing views about solution. 'That is the reason trying building an atmosphere to lead to a solution. This is the route. Soft border is certainly welcome and we should open out for people-to-people contact within Kashmiris. Ease their lives and give them comfort to improve them economically and socially and then move towards solution,' he said. Asked about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assertion that boundaries cannot be re-drawn, Musharraf said, 'It is not good and I do not agree with it. But one thing is clear. From New York, I am saying LoC cannot be accepted as a final solution. They also agree and say boundaries become irrelevant'. A solution has to be found putting the three strands together, he said a 'kichdi' has to be made out of concepts like 'independence, self governance, autonomy, joint control and joint management and urged the media to analyse the issues for themselves. He said he has discussed Kashmir and all other issues with Singh and there was progress on all issues. 'We certainly have decided to take the resolution of Kashmir issue forward' in a in purposeful manner to reach for a final resolution, he said.


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