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New equations go awary over Musharaff's Proposals in J&K

NC, PDP and separatist combination of All Parties Hurriyat Conference are completely supportive of the proposals, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 21:50 IST
Arun Joshi

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's fresh set of proposals on Kashmir has triggered off new equations on the political turf on the two sides of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Some of the mainstream groups like National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party and a separatist combination of All Parties Hurriyat Conference are completely supportive of the proposals. They want Centre to respond.

Bhartiya Janta Party, Panun Kashmir - strong voices of the Indian sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir  and  secessionist groups  of Syed Ali Shah Geelani ,  Pakistan occupied Kashmir based  United Jehad Council  and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, have  strongly opposed the proposals, for different reasons though.

"These shifting of the goalposts by the  groups can transform the  scene altogether," says Tahir Mohi-ud-Din a veteran political analyst  of Jammu and Kashmir and editor of  a respectable  Urdu  newspaper "Chattan" .

"Now the separatist and mainstream difference in 'black and white' terms doesn't exist. The way Pakistan's foreign office spokesperson has been highlighting the supportive voice to Mushraff's proposals in Omar Abdullah of NC and Mehbooba Mufti of PDP, the difference is lost. Now Pakistan has recognised that pro-India parties were having their support base, and Hurriyat Conference is not everything."

Today what Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the moderate Hurriyat Conference is saying is as much supportive of Musharraf as are the voices of Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

Mirwaiz led Hurriyat Conference's line of argument is closer to NC and PDP than that of the other separatist groups. It stands completely on the opposite side of the fence as far as Geelani and other hardline separatist groups are concerned.

" Ours is a principled stand that a new way should be found which meets the aspirations of the people of the state. For us, the realisation of peoples' expectations and aspirations through dialogue is more important than sticking to the lines that have failed to deliver. We must be pragmatic and move ahead," Mirwaiz says.

Prof. Noor Mohammad Baba, Head of the Political Science of Kashmir University agrees that there is a " polarisation" of this kind in the political turf in Jammu and Kashmir. "There is a polarization and at places the differences between the separatists and mainstream parties are getting blurred."

Tahir says that this polarisation can "change the political equations in future.  In what manner, it remains to be seen, he says.

Panun Kashmir Chairman Ajay Charangoo has called Pakistan President's proposals as " a reflection of the typical mindset of Musharraf since 1990s to grab Kashmir this way or the other." 
State unit BJP chief Ashok Khajuria is angry that why Government of India is not telling Pakistan to " mind its own business". " Kashmir is an integral part of India and President Musharraf has no right to speak about it in the terms that undermines the Indian sovereignty over this state."

POK based Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Amanullah Khan in a statement on Thursday said, "Mushrraf's proposals were an insult to the dignity of the 15 million people of the state." 

He stated: " We are not dumb driven cattle, whose future can be decided by Musharraf. It is unacceptable."

Similar is the thinking of Geelani, who is ideologically at war with JKLF's thesis of complete independence for the state from both India and Pakistan. He stands for Kashmir's merger with Pakistan.  He has ridiculed the proposals and described Musharraf a victim of " depression."

But the mainstream groups - which are at war with each other on day-to-day basis on the political turf of Kashmir - National Conference and PDP are urging the Centre to  "seize the opportunity.

NC President Omar Abdullah says: "This is a unique opportunity. It should not be allowed to slip away from our hands. Delhi must seize it, and seize it urgently." The kind of flexibility being shown by Mushraraff f may not be there for all the time."

PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has told External Affairs Minister to "give a serious thought" to fresh proposals of Musharraf for making a beginning for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem, simply because the cost of not doing it will be much higher than the cost of doing it."

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