Hina Rabbani Khar meets Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Pak High Commission
Two delegations, one led by Geelani and other a seven-member team of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq met Khar separately
Hardline Kashmir separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani asked Pakistan to attend its domestic problems in Baluchistan, Karachi and the issue of Taliban, who are frequently attacking its cities and people. Interacting with the visiting Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar at the Pakistan High Commission here on Tuesday, he said Pakistan’s internal situation was a source of concern for him as well as Kashmiris back home.
Two delegations, one led by Geelani and other a seven-member team of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq met Khar separately. The meeting with Geelani which lasted for one-and-half hour focused on the aging leaders’ apprehensions that Pakistan was deviating from its traditional stand of ‘right to self-determination” and was exploring an alternative settlement and short-cuts.
Khar, on her part assured Geelani that Pakistan will not override sentiments and aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir. “We have a well-established position and a principled stand on the right of self-determination for the Kashmiris,” she said. Pakistan Foreign Minister clearly told the Kashmiri delegation that her country had no interest to return to former president Pervez Musahrraf’s four-point formula or any other recipe that would be undesirable for the Kashmiri separatist leadership.
Geelani told Pakistani minister that though he was not against dialogue, but history has shown, India has used the instrument of dialogue only to “hoodwink” the world opinion. He accused New Delhi of using dialogue with Pakistan to impose more restrictive regime back in Kashmir. He said, though he accepted Pakistan’s support to Kashmir cause and its ramifications on the country, the hardline leader advised Pakistani minister not to take any hasty step. “Any solution in haste and a compromise will not be acceptable to us,” he said., referring that Kashmir was not a border dispute between India and Pakistan, but involved people. He called for inclusion of genuine Kashmiri leadership to make dialogue “purposeful” and “meaningful”.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference said dialogue and bullets cannot go hand-in-hand. He said onus for progress on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir squarely likes with New Delhi, as it has to show some accommodation in Kashmir. Talking to reporters, after his group met Khar Minister, he said the of Kashmir was not a bilateral issue, but concerned people of Kashmir. He also called for inclusion of voice and aspirations of people in the discourse. Reminding that his faction was never against talks as they had held meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and earlier LK Advani, when he was deputy Prime Minister, Mirwaiz said “we backed out when we saw nothing was moving ahead.”
Iftikhar Gilani is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com