Bilateral Talks Futile: Salah-ud-Din

7 November 2009
Greater Kashmir
Nisar Ahmed Thokar

Islamabad: Terming the bilateral negotiations a futile exercise, the United Jehad Council (UJC) chief, Syed Sallah-ud-din has said the Indian leadership’s devious handling of Kashmir must serve as an eye-opener for the people and the separatist leadership. “Hurriyat leadership not to take a hasty decision with regard to dialogue with Delhi, as bilateral talks had proved futile in the past,” Salah-ud-Din told Greater Kashmir here today. He said there there has been a bitter experience during the regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf when APHC under the leadership of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq jumped the bandwagon and started negotiations with New Delhi. “What was the outcome of those talks? Nothing,” he said and added that the militant leadership would support the dialogue process if the resolution of the core issue (Kashmir) was the subject of such parleys. Salah-ud-Din said following the failure of the Musharraf-era Hurriyat-Delhi talks even Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on many occasions said openly that India was never serious and nor it has ever been sincere to address the Kashmir problem. UJC chairman maintained that the same situation continued to be there today, as India on one hand talks of holding dialogue with Hurriyat while on the other it terms separatist leadership as irrelevant in the prevailing political scenario. Referring to the latest statements of the Indian leaders, Syed said on their recent visits to the Valley, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram had stated that the root-cause of the Kashmir problem was absence of good governance, peace and prosperity. This unrealistic approach, he said was in fact a major impediment in the peace and resolution effort. He said: “Every person in the Indian subcontinent knows what Kashmir problem is and they are fully aware that it is all about the final disposition of the political future of more than 13 million people of Kashmir living across the ceasefire line”. He pointed out that this contradiction and ambiguity in Indian leaders’ statements makes it even more obvious that India was sticking to its “dilly dallying policy, traditional intransigence and unrealistic approach.” He said whenever there is international pressure on Kashmir issue to avoid any eventuality of nuclear confrontation in South Asia, India makes talks offer to Kashmiris just to neutralize the situation. “It is in fact the international pressure that has got mounted on India and they just want to diffuse it by staging a drama in the name of talks to give an impression to the world community that it is engaged in a dialogue with Kashmiri leaders”, he said. Under the given circumstance, he said holding dialogue is absolutely an aimless and fruitless exercise saying that India should accept Kashmir as a disputed territory. “It has been India’s strategy to damage the international stature of Kashmir case and by holding bilateral negotiations it wants to create an impression at international level that Kashmir is a border dispute between the two countries”. “Even Mirwaiz Umar Farooq during his sermon at historic Jamia Mosque on Friday pointed out that there were contradictions in the statements of Indian leaders,” he maintained. Kashmir dispute he said was not a border dispute that heads of the two states or two foreign secretaries can sit together and resolve it. “Neither is it an issue relating to internal security nor can it be resolved through bilateral negotiations between Hurriyat Conference and New Delhi”, he said. “There are three basic parties to the dispute and while seeking a negotiated settlement of the issue you can’t just ignore any one of them”, he added. So for as the final settlement of Kashmir is concerned, Salah-ud-Din was of the view that bilateralism has badly failed to produce any results and to the contrary it has damaged the ongoing struggle. Highlighting the dangerous dimensions of bilateralism he said, “By getting involved in bilateral negotiations, the tripartite nature and the international sanctity of the issue also get diluted and under the garb of so-called dialogue the unprecedented violations continue unabated in Jammu and Kashmir”. He said by taking one of the Hurriyat factions on board India wants to create more chaos and confusion within the pro-movement leadership as well as in the masses to damage the ongoing struggle. He said a solution of the long-simmering dispute was not possible unless all the stakeholders including India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir were taken into confidence. Regarding Hurriyat unity he said, “We have time and again appealed the honourable leadership to get united and forge a broad-based consensus on the basic principles, established during last year’s agreement between the two factions wherein the respective leadership had agreed that they would strive for the right of self determination”. “There was a written agreement that can provide a strong basis for absolute unity and concurrence”. Replying to a query he said that taking into consideration the sentiments of the people Kashmiri leadership must develop a consensus and come forward with a unified stand, strategy and unified agenda and plan of action to lead the movement to its logical conclusion. To promote the policy of reconciliation and understanding, he added that there should be no character assassination whatsoever or any sort of leg pulling and the leadership must avoid indulging in any activity that is detrimental for the sacred cause. About UJC’s stand on dialogue, UJC supremo commander said: “Militant leadership is for dialogue and would be for dialogue but it has to be Kashmir centric and result-oriented and resolution of the core issue must be subject of the dialogue”. He however maintained that a statewide, integrated political movement supported by cadre based target oriented militancy was must to achieve the cherished goal.