Our stand vindicated: Separatists | Mainstream Response Mixed

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By: Umer Maqbool
Srinagar: While the separatists asserted that the final report of the interlocutors has proven that it was a futile exercise, there has been mixed response to their recommendations from the mainstream camp. Cutting across party lines, the political parties of state reacted sharply to the suggestions on devolution of powers to the regions, saying that they had no such right as “it is our internal matter.”
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that no solution within the purview of Indian Constitution is acceptable to them. “Since their (interlocutors’) appointment, we have been saying it is a futile exercise and now the final report submitted by them has proven their futility,” he said, adding, “It was nothing more than a time-consuming exercise to hoodwink international community.”
Geelani said they have not done any favour or granted concession to Kashmiris by recommending revocation of ‘draconian laws’ like Armed Forces Special Powers Act or Disturbed Areas Act. “These inhuman and brutal laws imposed have to go at any cost,” he added.
The pro-freedom leader said Kashmiris have rendered countless sacrifices from 1947 for right to self-determination and “nothing short of it will be acceptable to us.”
“We want right to self-determination for all the parts of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir including Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir,” he said.
Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Muhammad Yasin Malik said recommending Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) as solution of Kashmir issue proves that instead of resolving Kashmir issue, they want to dissolve it.
“The day Government of India nominated interlocutors for Kashmir, JKLF decided not to meet them, because Kashmiris were expecting that after arrival of high level All Party Parliamentary delegation that New Delhi is serious to resolve Kashmir issue, hoping they will nominate decision-making political shades of India to engage Kashmiris in a meaningful and ideological dialogue process. But it did not happen and people of Kashmir lost hope,” he said. “They tried their best in the name of regionalism to communalize Jammu and Kashmir, which is very dangerous trend for entire South Asia,” he added.
He reiterated that until Kashmir issue is not resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris, ongoing movement will continue.
Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said it has been proven beyond doubt now that it was a meaningless time-consuming exercise.
“They have been exposed and our stand of not meeting them has been proven right,” he said.
“They have not represented the sentiments and aspirations of Kashmiris in their final report. We want to tell New Delhi once again that Kashmiris have not sacrificed their lives for incentives, packages or autonomy, but have done it for the resolution of Kashmir issue according to our will,” he said.
Mirwaiz added that they want constructive dialogue process between all the three parties to dispute for its final settlement.
President of Peoples Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti said: “Whatever we are hearing from the media about their final report, it is ridiculous and seems that they are trivializing the whole issue and reducing it to a mere administrative issue.”
“Devolution of powers to Panchayats or regional councils is the job of the state government and not of interlocutors, tasked with finding solution of Kashmir issue,” she said, adding that suggestions of Five Working Groups constituted by Prime Minister of India were more solid, having potential of changing entire situation.
National Conference spokesman Dr Mustafa Kamal said it is premature to comment on the report at this juncture.
“However if media reports are true, then we welcome their recommendations on the restoration of autonomy and revoking of AFSPA. It is to be seen what autonomy they talk about as we stand for the restoration of greater autonomy,” he said.
Kamal said Centre has no prerogative to suggest devolution of powers to regions as “it is our internal matter.”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Muhammad Yousuf Targimi said that first thing interlocutors should do is that report should be made public.
“If it talks of some sort of autonomy, it has to be explained and other concepts envisaged in it need also explanation,” he said adding, “If it contains suggestions like revocation of AFSPA and DAA, then they are welcome”.
Chairman of Peoples Conference, Sajjad Gani Lone, said the report will add to ‘decades of distrust between New Delhi and Kashmir.’ “One fails to understand the purpose of interlocutors and a virtual media blitz if the objective was to deliver nothing,” he said.

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