Visiting Pak For “Way Out” Not “Sell Out”: Prof Ghani

SRINAGAR (ONS) – Asserting that the Hurriyat (M) was visiting Pakistan for a “way out” and not a “sell out” on Kashmir, Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat on Saturday said that the trip had the backing of 40 lakh Kashmiris, and challenged opponents to propose an alternative to talks.

“We are going to Pakistan because we, as Kashmiris, are a party to the issue,” he said.

“The process of mending ties between India and Pakistan has begun, but these chowkidaars of darkness cannot see this sliver of light,” he said, without naming anyone.

The Hurriyat (G) has decided against taking up Islamabad’s invitation, saying that it would allow the sacrifices of Kashmiris be used for influencing elections in Pakistan.

But Prof Ghani, a former Hurriyat chairman, likened the trip to “life-saving drugs for resolving issues” and said that the alliance had the support of the people.

“We will go to Pakistan, whether somebody likes it or not,” he said.

“Kashmiris have to be a part of the dialogue process between India and Pakistan. They cannot afford to stay away from it,” he said.

“There is no alternative to talks. If we don’t visit Pakistan, what other alternatives do we have? Do we have to take recourse to war and violence? Do we have to fire guns?”

“We are going to Pakistan because we are a party to the issue,” he said.

Replying to critics who have linked the visit to general elections in the neighbouring country, Prof Ghani said that polls in Pakistan had nothing to do with the historical status of the Kashmir issue.

“The governments that are elected in Pakistan do not change polices on issues of national significance, just as the so-called polls held in our state have had no impact on the status of the Kashmir issue,” he said.

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