Stating that there is a notion across the world that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Tuesday said the amalgam will urge Pakistan for “legal sanctity” for role of Kashmiris’ as a third party in the settlement of Kashmir issue so that it is recognized as a tripartite issue at the global level.
Addressing the second phase of the feedback session with civil society members of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts at Hurriyat headquarters here, Mirwaiz said that ahead of their Pakistan visit, the Hurriyat leadership wanted to listen to intellectuals, traders, civil society activists and other sections of the society so that constructive suggestions could crop up.
“These suggestions will help us frame good policies,” the Hurriyat (M) Chairman said at the outset of the session. “Keeping in view the situation at the world level and at the sub-continental level, an impression continues to remain in place that Kashmir is a bilateral issue. This is happening despite the fact that Kashmiris have offered countless sacrifices,” Mirwaiz said. “We have been of the belief that Kashmir is a tripartite issue with people of Kashmir as its real stakeholders. But the fact remains that there is no legal sanctity to the people being the main party to the issue.”
The Hurriyat (M) Chairman said the amalgam will work out a “legal sanctity” with the Pakistan leadership so that the notion of Kashmir being a bilateral issue ends. “The move will also help give Kashmiri people a right to speak and also project Kashmir as a tripartite issue,” he said.
He said Kashmir issue has many dimensions like social, economic and political. “Besides talking about the resolution of Kashmir issue, we need to talk about the plundering of our water resources, power and other things,” Mirwaiz said. He also said it was not like that the Hurriyat (M) leadership would bring resolution from Pakistan. “But a beginning is must. Many confusions will get cleared during our visit,” he said.
During the feedback session, many participants highlighted the historic perspective of the Kashmir issue as to how the erstwhile princely State of Jammu and Kashmir was sold by the British ‘and then by Maharaja Hari Singh.’ “This State had been sold for peanuts first and then through accords. We must see where do we stand and where we have to go,” said a participant from Kupwara district. “Hurriyat must devise a strategy to clear the confusion. We as a nation are totally confused as to where from we have to start. We have offered priceless sacrifices over the past 65 years. There is a need for a vision and direction,” he said.
Another elderly participant from the apple town of Sopore said Pakistan had been claiming Kashmir as its “jugular vein” and at the same time India maintains “Kashmir is its integral part.” “The fact remains that Kashmir remains sandwiched between the two countries. But we haven’t lost hope and believe a day will come soon when we will achieve our goal,” he said.
Many young participants stressed that Hurriyat leadership should keep the sacrifices of people in mind before meeting the Pakistan leadership.
“Keep in mind that our daughters and mothers lost chastity for Kashmir solution. Our youth spilled hot blood for the cause,” said a youth from Baramulla. He was seconded by another from Sopore, who further added, “Hurriyat leaders should seek suggestions and advice from the family members of martyrs as well before leaving for Pakistan.”
Mirwaiz welcomed the suggestions put forth by the participants and said the feedback sessions would continue and the next meeting will be held with the people from South Kashmir. Many senior Hurriyat (M) leaders were present in the session which included Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, Shahid-ul-Islam, Syed Saleem Geelani and Zaffar Akbar Bhat.