Geelani’s ‘Defunct UN’ Remark Hailed

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SRINAGAR (KNS) – Asserting that Kashmir dispute was the creation of India and Pakistan, Muslim Conference chairman and senior Hurriyat Conference (M) leader, Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat, Monday said that save for peaceful resolution of the issue, the conglomerate was not pursuing any new agenda during its upcoming visit to Pakistan.  

Describing as ‘better late than never’ the statement of Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, calling the United Nations a defunct organization, Prof Bhat said what expectations could be attached with an institution we thought had become defunct. “Entire leadership of Kashmir, including that of the mainstream, must speak in one voice for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” he told KNS, adding he would not mind talking even to the devil for the resolution of Kashmir issue.

In an exclusive interview with the news agency, after his return from a private visit to Pakistan and Pak-administered Kashmir, Prof Bhat warned of “dire consequences” in case India did not give up its obduracy in solving the dispute. During the visit, he said he had met with several leaders across the political spectrum to discuss the Kashmir issue in the backdrop of the rapidly changing geo-political global landscape in which economic considerations had assumed greater significance. 

“During my meetings with various political leaders including Nawaz Sharief, Jaleel Abbas, Liyaqat Baloch, Sardar Qayoom and others, I felt they’re serious about permanent and peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue,” he said, adding he had wide-ranging discussions with them on Indo-Pak dialogue, confidence building measures. “Politics is the game of possibilities where an individual has to chose between what is disastrous and what is unpalatable,” he said, quoting former US envoy in India, Prof Galbraith. 

He said amid the changing nature of international politics, the nature of Kashmir issue had also changed and adopted a new face. “I see K-issue in broader perspective. Kashmir is a dispute but Kashmiris are not the ones who are responsible for the dispute, while as India and Pakistan are its real disputers,” he said.

Prof Bhat said India and Pakistan could not come closer merely by entering into trade and business agreements but it was inevitable for the two neighboring countries to resolve the Kashmir dispute to establish lasting peace and amity between them. “The path to their mutual friendship and amity passes through Kashmir,” he said, adding it was his firm belief that the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir would not go waste. “If any such thing happens, we will have none other than our wrong policies to blame,” he said.   

On Hurriyat (M) leadership’s proposed consultations with civil society groups and other sections of the society, including traders and lawyers, ahead of their proposed visit to Pakistan in December, Prof Bhat said, “It would have been better to initiate such exercise   at the political level.” However, he said that the consultations are not meant to evolve any new agenda but to visit Pakistan after taking various groups into confidence.

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