Senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah Tuesday asked if Kashmiris weren’t the relevant party then why New Delhi had sent a delegation during the 2010 unrest to meet the separatist leadership.
Shah was aghast at the recent statement by India’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj where she referred to separatists as ‘third party’ whose involvement won’t be acceptable to India. Shah said that the failure of dialogue was defeat of India.
“Then Union Minister Mr P Chidambaram came to meet me in jail. Other members of the delegation of which the Sushma Ji was a part met various Hurriyat leaders at their homes. If we were not the relevant party, we did they come to meet us then?” he asked.
Shah said that during the previous government of Atal Vajpayee, KC Panth had come with a letter where government of India had clearly written that they are willing to talk on Kashmir and expected Pakistan to cooperate.
“Today, Sushma ji says raat gayi baat gayi. Does it mean, she is rejecting the Vajpayee and LK Advani, who were proponent of dialog with us?” he asked.
Shah said that Kashmir has been internationally accepted as a dispute and India was bound according to the UNSC resolutions to hold a referendum in the state. He said that Kashmiris won’t accept any resolution under the framework of Indian constitution. He said that India must come to the negotiation table and resolve this ‘political dispute’ according to the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people.
“New Delhi talks about Siachin. But isn’t it a part of Kashmir? If they talk about Siachin, why don’t the talk about Kashmir?” he asked.
Shah said India must speak in a language of logic and reason, adding that Kashmiris were the prime party to the dispute.
Shah termed the recent revelations by Indian spymaster AS Dulat involving him as part of New Delhi ‘tricks’ to break the unity of pro-freedom camp. “We will answer book with books,” he said.
He said that New Delhi was exhausting every option to silence Kashmiris. “We are the guardians of the over one lakh martyrs who laid down their lives for this struggle. We will not let their blood go waste.”
Shah welcomed the recent statement by prominent lawyer Ram Jethmalani where he expressed anguish over the arrest of separatist leadership barring them from meeting Pakistani Advisor on Foreign Affairs and Security, Sartaj Aziz, whose scheduled trip to Delhi was botched by last minute deliberations by India. Apparently, Sushma Swaraj has set a deadline for Pakistan to agree on two points that would bar separatists from attending the meet and restrict the “talks to the terror” issue. Pakistan in response called off the talks saying that any negotiation without Kashmir was unacceptable to Islamabad.