Syed Ali Geelani, the most ardent pro-Pakistan voice in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), on Thursday came down heavily on General Pervez Musharraf and said that the Pak president's recent proposal on Kashmir was his personal "viewpoint" with no support from the government and the people of Pakistan.
The separatist leader said that General Musharraf was scared of America and India, and was offering proposal after proposal under panic.
Geelani, who heads the hardline faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, is miffed with Pak president for his assertions that if India agreed to demilitarisation and self-rule in J&K under joint control of India and Pakistan, his country was ready to give up its claim on Kashmir. The Pak president said this during an interview with a private TV news channel early this week.
"It is General Musharraf's personal view. He has not discussed this option with his cabinet or with the political parties. The people and politicians of Pakistan do not favor General Musharraf's proposal. Even Pakistan's foreign office has distanced itself from the President's proposal," Geelani told a crowded press conference today.
Geelani said that after the 9/11 attacks, General Musharraf was scared of the US. "He is also fearful of India's military and economic power and has no faith in himself or his people. He is giving formula after formula under this fear," the separatist leader said.
He claimed that the people and political leadership of Pakistan were with the people of Kashmir. "We appreciate them for their political, moral and diplomatic support," Geelani said.
The Hurriyat chairman claimed, "Our struggle is based on principles and justice and is indigenous."
"It will continue even if Pakistan withdraws its support," he added. He asked people to keep their faith in God and come together for their cause.
"I firmly believe that government of India would have to grant us the right of self-determination."
Geelani said that the Pak president's formula is closer to the Indian agenda. "But government of India wasted no time in rejecting it. India has rejected earlier proposals of General Musharraf as well. He (Musharraf) should not have come with a proposal that compromises his country's position on Kashmir," he said.
Geelani appealed to the people and political and religious leadership of Pakistan not to compromise on their country's position on Kashmir and continue their support to the people of Kashmir.
Militant outfits, who are operating under a joint command — United Jihad Council from Muzaffarabad (PoK) — have also rejected Musharraf's formula. Syed Salahuddin, who is the chairman of the Council, described the Pak president's proposal as the one "strengthening India's grip on Kashmir".