Shabir Shah Defends His Decision To Accept Invite
1 June 2005
Srinagar: Defending his decision to accept Pakistan's invite to Pakistan- Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) as an opportunity to impress upon the leadership there what the 'Dogras, Sikhs, Buddhists or Muslims' here see as a solution to the Kashmir issue, separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah Wednesday said one should also 'be realistic'. 'We will meet the governments of Pakistan and Pakistan- occupied Kashmir and the opposition leaders at both places and seek their cooperation in resolution of the Kashmir issue,' the Democratic Freedom Party Chairman told reporters here. 'The interactions with the leadership on the other side is to impress upon them what the people from this side - Dogras, Sikhs, Buddhists or Muslims - want, and, grasp what they see as a solution to the Kashmir issue,' he said. 'Nobody should expect that we will go to PoK and Pakistan and bring back something that will resolve the issue. If that happens, it will be a miracle...and we have to be realistic,' Shah said. 'We have been demanding that people and leaders on the either side of the Line of Control be allowed to interact. Now we have been provided with an opportunity,' he said. In an oblique reference to the lack of unity among the Hurriyat leadership, Shah said 'we should look at how the Government of India and its Opposition leader (L.K. Advani) are speaking in the same voice on the Kashmir issue'.