Hardliner Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani believes that a 1975 Sheikh–Indira accord type of Kashmir solution is in the offing, this time with the backing of Pakistan.
“But it is doomed to fail,” Geelani says. His premonition is based on, what he said, past experience. After the accord, the people were lulled into the impression that the Kashmir issue has been solved. It was not, times have proved beyond any doubt.
The revolt of the people in late 1980s was a manifestation of that. “That time it took 14 years for the youth to launch an armed struggle, because there were no guns. This time, the guns are already there. The struggle is continuing,” he told Hindustan Times in an interview on Friday.
According to him all the “cacophony” of various solution formulas emanating from Delhi, Islamabad, Srinagar and various other places were one or the other shape of the status quo.
“Every one should understand that the current turmoil is because of the status quo, so “how what constituted the problem, could become a solution. It is illogical.”
He said that it would be in fitness of things to look at a realistic solution that meets aspirations of the people. “Those could be met only if they are granted right to self determination. Nothing else will work out.”
Geelani said that the way things were moving this time between India and Pakistan and some sections of Kashmiri leadership, he sees a “replica of the 1975 accord” being given out as a solution of Kashmir crisis to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “This time Pakistan is backing it.”
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, he said, is lone voice. “The contradictions are apparent, the way Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and other leaders continue to say that there is no change in Islamabad’s policy on Kashmir”.
“The people of Pakistan are quiet because they are afraid of Army over there. The military rule is keeping them off the streets.”
According to his feedback, 95 per cent of Pakistanis were opposed to Musharraf’s shifting stand on Kashmir.
“The end result would be the same: failure and unrest and struggle of the people of Kashmir will continue for the right to self determination,” he said.
The Sheikh-Indira accord of 1975 called for dismantling of the Plebiscite Front – that is forerunner of the current secessionist movements in the Valley - of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and revival of National Conference.
Congress handed over power to Sheikh Abdullah in Jammu and Kashmir, and there was a promise to uphold the sanctity of the Article 370 and repeal of central laws, if deemed harmful to interests of Kashmir.
“Today, too similar trends are visible. India and Pakistan are moving toward a solution that upholds status quo. A section of the leadership is a party to that,” Geelani said in his veiled attack on the moderate separatists, who are willing to accept a solution of Kashmir crisis other than the implementation of the U N resolutions.
“I had opposed the 1975 Accord, and I will oppose any repeat of such formulas of the past. It is because that would be an attempt to negate our sacrifices and struggle,” he said.
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