Musharraf's 'no' For Azadi - A Setback For JK Groups
29 January 2006
The Indian Express
Jammu: Pakistan President Gen Parvez Musharraf's statement during an interactive programme at The Nobel Institute in Oslo, in which he said that there was no possibility of independence of Kashmir, has come as a setback to the 'pro-azadi' groups in Jammu and Kashmir. In the conference, Gen Musharraf said that there was no possibility of independence for Kashmir. Recently, Musharraf had floated idea of 'self rule' which already have created heat in the state. Right from ruling People's Democratic Party to moderate Hurriyat Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, many have supported discussions on self- rule. Musharraf's statement is significant keeping in view the proposed visit of the US President George W Bush to New Delhi and Islamabad in March. However, Musharraf's outright rejection to 'Azadi has given a set back to groups like Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and J&K Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) in the state who had been advocating independence. Interestingly, JKLF chief Yasin Mailk had recently met Gen Musharraf during is visit to Islamabad. Though the deliberations of the talks between these leaders and Gen Mushrraf are not known, observes feel that certain leaders were not given much importance in the Pakistan. JKDFP chief Shabir Shah who had recently said that 'ultimate target of their fight was independence' today said that it is the thinking of Musharraf saheb, however, Shah Musharraf has already given a idea of 'self-rule'. 'It is a admitted fact that Pakistan is a party in the Kashmir issue. Musharraf's 'no' to independence is his view, however, we are fighting for independence. However, we also do not reject the options which are acceptable to us,' said Shah. On the other hand JKLF chief Yasin Malik refused to comment. Independence had been a main slogan of Malik's JKLF. However, moderate Hurriyat Conference Public Affairs Committee chief Syed Saleem Geelani said that APHC (Mirwaiz) had already presented its view point. 'If New Delhi brings flexibility in its stand all three parties (India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir) can sit together and discuss the contentious issues,' said Geelani. On the other hand state BJP chief Nirmal Singh said that Musharraf's statement is an eye opener for certain groups in the Valley, however, he said that his party do not seriously consider the statements given by Musharraf.