Posted Sat, 04/10/2010 – 14:24
By Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
The visit of Hurriet delegation to Pakistan at the invitation of Pakistan, reminds us of the visit of Sheikh Abdullah and his plebiscite Front colleagues to R.Pindi in 1964, who was given unprecedented welcome by the government and the people in Rawalpindi at that time. The only leading Kashmiri politician heading plebiscite movement for about two decades with mass following was permitted to mediate with not only the government of India but also with the rulers in Pakistan. Jawaharlal Nehru, sympathised with this view, even though Sheikh Abdullah announced “ No Solution will be lasting unless it has the approval of all the parties concerned, namely India, Pakistan, & the people of Kashmir.” Nehru appeared willing to admit in public that Pakistan did possess a genuine right to be interested in the future of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, writes Alistair Lamb. Sheikh Abdullah visited Pakistan in May realising that Kashmir dispute was draining( as today) the economies of both India and Pakistan and pushing the two nations ever nearer the brink of war. A number of popular voices like Jayaprakash Narayan, the veteran leader of India at that time interpreted the Kashmir question as “a moral and political issue,” and not as a dispute over legal technicalities. His two articles “our great opportunity in Kashmir” and “The need to Rethink” (Hindustan times 20 April/14 May 1964, advocated genuine urges of Kashmiris and urged, above all, that the Kashmir question be considered by India in the light of not only its own interests but also those of Pakistan. So it is not for the first time that India is permitting a top level Kashmiri delegation to visit Pakistan to advance the theory of peace process and a negotiated settlement on Kashmir issue.
Of course, this time the Kashmiri delegation unlike 64, would exchange views with ultras and moderate politicians among Kashmiri and Pakistani circles. What is the role of AK rulers and how they treat Mujahideen and their problems will undoubtedly draw the attention of Hurriet delegation in Pakistan. Hurriet delegation would serve the cause only when they make an objective study, analysis and approach by interaction with freedom fighters and Pakistani supporters and advocates of the cause of liberation of Kashmir.
The Hurriet visit will confirm and revive the concept of a negotiated settlement of Kashmir. The phenomenon in the background is much important and that is the armed struggle. The time has come when we have to maintain the correct balance between the armed struggle and the political process. The goal of popular national political objective will be nearer only if we kill our self interests and adopt non-opportunistic and non-materialistic modus operandi.
Willy-nilly we have to agree that there seems no victory for any specific school of political thought in Kashmir, India and Pakistan. If the ball of settlement starts rolling towards a bright future for Kashmir in particular, and for the humanity in South Asia in general, it would of course be a victory for our mothers and sisters whose eyes are tearful for their martyred sons and brothers. We all are thankful to them for they showed us the path to freedom and honourable life and peace. No doubt, many people argue that if Kashmir settlement gets a real start in the form of Indo-Pak Summit in near future, that would be a victory for the pro-negotiation schools of thought in U.S, Europe and South Asia. Even O.I.C and neighbours would rejoice over the positive and sincere efforts being made for a just and honourable settlement of Kashmir Issue.
We hope that the APHC which is not the only factor in these developments will face its dilemma with farsightedness, broadmindedness, consensus and Kashmiri interests by balancing with the interests and aspirations of Pakistan. As for Pakistan it has always advocated and supported wishes of the peoples of Kashmir in our half a century old history of struggle and sacrifices. #END# Dated:17/01/01