Musharraf's 'self-rule' Is A Vague Slogan, Says Shabir Shah
25 December 2005
The Indian Express
Jammu: Describing Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's idea of 'self-rule' as a vague slogan, the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Shah today demanded that the pro-freedom people should also be included in the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan.Addressing a gathering at a public contact programme organised by the Jammu unit of his party, Shah said the recent statement of Pakistan President Gen Musharraf of 'self rule' is a vague idea. 'It is undefined and there is a serious need to discuss this idea,' said the senior separatist leader. He said the present process is only limited to India and Pakistan and people of Kashmir have been ignored. 'It is imperative that those who are demanding azadir should also be included in the talks,' demanded Shah. Describing the opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route as a small confidence building measure, he said even talks between India and Pakistan is no big CMB till Kashmiris are not included in the talks. He alleged that India was cool towards the solution of the vexed Kashmir problem while Pakistan has given a positive response. 'It is necessary that India should also show the flexibility shown by Pakistan,' said Shah. The senior separatist leader expressed anguish over the inability of the two countries to make the most of the opportunity provided by the recent earthquake. 'This was the opportunity provided by the nature through disaster but we missed it. This is very unfortunate,' said Shah. He said the recent times have thrown up many new options and it is important to debate them. Underlining the need to demilitarise Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said it is difficult to understand why India was hesitating to do so. Participating in the debate, former DGP M M Khajuria put a question mark on the demand for demilitarization and said the role of Army in pre-militancy times was confined to the borders, but the changing scenario had forced it to play a bigger role. He said there was a dire need to chalk out the points of focus in problematic issues or else there will be no solution to the vexed problem even in the coming 100 years. Others who also spoke on the occasion included Prof Zahur-ud-Din, P N Bhat, Kuldeep Dogra, and I D Khajuria.