Srinagar: Terming the arrest of Hurriyat leadership in New Delhi against the spirits of India democracy separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah Tuesday questioned that if Kashmir is not an issue and Hurriyat leaders are irrelevant then why former Prime Ministers of India talked to separatist leadership from Kashmir in past.
The claims made by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj with regard to Kashmir issue and Kashmiri separatist leaders are not only astonishing but baseless as well. Swaraj forgot that her mentor Atal Bihari Vajpayee exchanged letters with me and the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh met all the separatist leadership to resolve the Kashmir issue. If Kashmir is not an issue then why government of India dispatched All Parties Delegation to meet the separatists in Kashmir. Even the members of the Indian All Parties Delegation met me in prison and sought my suggestions to resolve Kashmir imbroglio in 2008, Shah told reporters during a press conference here.
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 and advised Swaraj to read Kashmir history.
It was the first interaction of Shah with the reporters after he was detained in New Delhi and was barred by Government of India from meeting Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz.
Shah said that Kashmir issue can be peacefully resolved through dialogue only. The door for talks should not be closed as it is the only way to resolve the K-issue amicably, he said and added that the detention of Hurriyat leadership is unjustified and against the spirits of democracy. India is claiming to be the largest democracy and yet adopting the repressive means to suppress the free will and voice of the people of Kashmir, he said.
Shabir Ahmed Shah who is called as the prisoner of conscience said that separatist leaders will not talk within the ambit of Indian constitution. New Delhi talks about Siachin. But isnt it a part of Kashmir? If they talk about Siachin, why dont the talk about Kashmir? he asked.
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.
Responding to a question, Shah said that all the militants who had given their lives over the Kashmir issue were freedom fighters. For India Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter and for us, all those Mujhadeen who laid down their sacred and precious lives are freedom fighters, he said. (CNS)
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