Time for militancy over, Mirwaiz tells Senate body
23 September 2005
The Daily Times
Islamabad: The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Friday presented reports of their meetings with All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders in the house.The meetings held in June 2005 discussed the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and critically analysed the situation. During the meetings, the APHC leadership accepted that a large number of Kashmiris did not support the APHC viewpoint.According to the report of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, APHC leaders claimed that several outside elements were trying to sabotage the Kashmiri freedom struggle by inciting violence.The APHC leaders had a two-hour interaction with the committee members. They answered some bold questions from the committee. Senator Mushahid Hussain chaired that meeting. The report said that APHC Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told the committee that the real representatives of Kashmir, struggling for freedom, would be blamed for the violent acts. He was of the view that the time had come when political struggle should replace the militancy. Mirwaiz observed that in the post-September 11 situation, the international community would never support 'violence or an armed freedom struggle'. He said that the correlation between the Kashmiris' diplomatic, political and armed struggles was missing.According to the report, Senators Professor Khurshid Ahmed and Maulana Samiul Haq did not agree with Mirwaiz's arguments. According to the committee's report, the senators argued that the world must realise the difference between 'terrorism and the struggle for freedom'. The committee agreed that the status quo on Kashmir was unacceptable. It demanded the inclusion of Kashmiris in the peace process and advocated a permanent solution to the dispute to ensure peace in the region.Mirwaiz lamented that the United Nations had failed to implement its resolutions on Kashmir. He said the APHC constitution allowed the leaders to find solutions to the dispute outside the UN resolutions' ambit. The report said that Yasin Malik, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman, was of the view that Kashmir-related talks remained between the national security advisers of India and Pakistan. He said it was humiliation for Kashmiris when they were left out. He accused both Pakistan and India of imposing their favourite leaders on Kashmiris. He reiterated his demand of holding 'fair elections' in the Indian Held Kashmir to choose real representatives for talks.The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights in its report to the house, quoted Kashmiri leaders as deploring that Pakistan had failed to convince prominent international figures to support the Kashmir cause. The APHC leaders also narrated terrible accounts of the torture, rape, killing and extortion of innocent Kashmiris by the soldiers and officers of the Indian army. They accused the world community of turning a blind eye to the Indian army's atrocities in Held Kashmir.The report said that Senator Mushahid had observed that confidence building measures (CBMs) had failed to stop human rights violations by Indian security forces in Kashmir.