‘Civil society alone can find solution to J&K crisis’

24 August 2008
The Hindu

Chennai: Addressing a press conference here, former Member of Parliament and Peace Mission member Dr. J.K. Jain said: “We did not have any formula for peace, but just appealed to the warring factions to sit together and discuss the issue. We had a meeting with Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti president Lila Kiran Sharma and Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and also met Syed Ali Shah Geelani. We were accorded a warm welcome and accepted as messengers of Indian society.” “Mr. Geelani told us that he was not against the Amarnath Yatra and there will never be any hindrance to the Yatra in the future as well. And his stand deserves to be welcomed.” “He further told us that their fight was not against the Yatra but against the forcible occupation of Kashmir by the Indian armed forces”, Dr Jain said. “He said they wanted Azadi from India. Mr. Mirwaiz was of the opinion that the movement had gone much beyond the issue of land allotment to the Shrine Board. He said the situation had worsened because of the economic blockade. Mr. Sharma for his part said their agitation was against cancellation of land allotted to the Shrine Board and the movement would be called off the day land was restored to the Board,” said Dr. Jain. Stating that the Mission wanted to restore peace through people’s initiative, Dr. Jain said: “We had a cordial meeting with Governor N.N. Vohra who assured adequate compensation to the victims of violence in the State. The Governor was of the opinion that “chaaka jam” was a form of economic blockade and it could not be allowed. The members, however, realised that the situation in the State had gone out of hand and emphasised the role of civil society in restoration of peace.” The other members of the Peace Mission included Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind leader Maulana Mahmood A. Madani, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat president Dr. Zafar-ul-Islam Khan, National Integration Council member Navaid Hamid and Christain leader Father Samuel.