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Jethmalani's Kashmir Committee visit: NC says BJP trying to help Mufti

The recent meetings of BJP leader and former law minister Ram Jethmalani's with separatists have fluttered many a feathers in the valley.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2012 23:09 IST
Peerzada Ashiq
Peerzada Ashiq
Hindustan Times

The recent meetings of BJP leader and former law minister Ram Jethmalani's with separatists have fluttered many a feathers in the valley. The move is being seen as a revival of track-two Kashmir diplomacy by the Kashmir Committee to resolve the problem.

Ruling National Conference spokesman Tanvir Sadiq, however, accused Jethmalani, who did not meet chief minister Omar Abdullah during his Kashmir visit last week, of being a broker between opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and separatists.

"The mask of credibility of Jethmalani has slipped. It is now clear that his mission is to drum up support for Mufti,” said Sadiq.

The fact that a BJP member parliament has come all the way from Delhi to garner support for the PDP reflects their loyalties, he added.

Well-known Supreme Court lawyer Jethmalani arrived in Srinagar last week with his same team that was part of the Kashmir Committee launched by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to open channels of dialogue with the separatists during the NDA regime.

Jethmalani met both hardline and moderate Hurriyat chairmen Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, besides second rung Hurriyat leadership.

"The separatist and the so-called proponents of Azadi should come clean on the reported deal between them and Mufti," said Sadiq.

While Abdullah's NC is left unnerved by Jethmalani cozying up to separatists, Madhu Kishwar, a Kashmir Committee member, clarified her visit in New Delhi.

"On the behalf of Kashmir Committee, I would like to clarify that our recent visit to Srinagar and our meetings with various political leaders was not aimed at proposing any ‘compromise formula' or any particular solution to any of the leaders, as mistakenly reported in several papers. That is not our mandate," said Kishwar.

The Kashmir Committee claimed that neither anybody in the government nor any of the political leaders of Kashmir have authorized it to bring separatist leaders to come around to accepting the PDP's self rule document as a starting point for resolution of the Kashmir problem.

"This is a total misrepresentation of our mission," she said.

She said the members share the anguish of the people of Kashmir against the Government of India's complacent attitude towards the problems and aspirations of Kashmiri people.

"We are of the view that the Government of India will make the nation pay a heavy price for ignoring the seething anger underneath the surface calm. The situation demands consistent engagement with the people and leaders of Kashmir and a pro active peace process with Pakistan in order to find a peaceful, democratic and enduring solution to the Kashmir problem," she said.

First Published: Aug 08, 2012 23:07 IST