Valley Thumbs-up To Gen 'solution'
5 December 2006
The Times of India
Srinagar: People's Democratic Party and political rival National Conference, along with the moderate Hurriyat, have reacted positively to Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf's four-point solution to the Kashmir issue. In an interview to a TV channel, Musharraf said he wasn't for independence and said his country would give up claim on Kashmir if India accepted his four-point solution that included demilitarisation and self-governance with joint supervision mechanism. He said both India and Pakistan would have to make compromises and be prepared to give up their positions held since 1948. His four-point solution also includes no change in boundaries of Kashmir and to make borders and the Line of Control irrelevant. 'Musharraf has been hinting that Pakistan is willing to forego its claim to Kashmir. Now he has stated it clearly. His four-point programme is a feasible one,'said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti. She pointed out that the joint mechanism set up by India and Pakistan to fight terrorism can be extended to the management of Jammu and Kashmir. 'Pakistan can have a stake in maintaining peace and in the development of Kashmir. Pakistan- occupied Kashmir and Indian administered Kashmir have a lot of common features. We can begin joint management through NGOs in areas like water management and agriculture and take it forward from there.' NC president Omar Abdullah said the proposal 'deserves serious consideration'by the government of India. 'The Pakistan president has categorically stated in this interview how far Pakistan is willing to go in terms of resolution. He has talked about Pakistan's willingness to accept current borders as long as free movement of people across it is allowed. The Prime Minister of India has said he is in favour of out-of-the-box solutions for the Kashmir issue.' Hurriyat moderate faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said it had the best interest of Kashmiris in mind. 'But Hurriyat wants evolution of a new process for ultimate solution instead of devolution of power in the areas, including Azad Kashmir and northern areas of Jammu and Kashmir presently under Pakistan's control,'he said. The Hurriyat executive meeting on Thursday will discuss Musharraf's proposal. Hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani reiterated his earlier stand on Kashmir and said, 'The people of Jammu and Kashmir should be given the right of self-determination. The implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir is pre-requisite for the permanent solution of this vexed problem.'Sajjad Lone, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir people's conference said, 'It is a welcome step but as far as the future of unified Jammu and Kashmir goes, Kashmiri leadership should be inclusively involved.'