Why is Geelani angry with Pak?
BY: JAVAID MALIK
Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani seems to be angry with Pakistan. During his recent meeting with the Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik in New Delhi, the veteran leader is understood to have told Malik “the present policy of Pakistan is not in consonance with the sentiments and aspirations of Kashmiris and it should be reviewed.”
Geelani, ostensibly, expressed his dismay to Malik over Pakistan granting the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to India. The Hurriyat (G) Chairman, according to the newspaper reports, asked Pakistan to raise the issue of human rights violations in Kashmir and reminded the Pakistan High Commissioner that “Nearly 300 youth died in 2008, 2009 and 2010 during the unrest.” He also blamed Pakistan for not defending the Chairman of Kashmir American Council, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai. Geelani also advised Malik that Pakistan should resolve internal issues through reconciliation.
The meeting, it seems, provided a chance to Geelani to speak his heart out and convey a message to Pakistan that separatists are not happy with Pakistan at all and their present Kashmir policy is creating a void between Pakistan and Kashmir.
Three executive bodies—Judiciary, Executive and Army—in Pakistan at present are at loggerheads with each other as Memo Gate scandal has opened a Pandora’s Box in the country. On the other hand Pakistan is finding it hard to tackle the turmoil within the country. Pakistan is in a mess and no one knows when it will come out of it. Kashmir at present doesn’t seem to figure anywhere in Pakistan’s policy. One wonders whether at present Pakistan has any Kashmir policy or not?
Some people believe that Pakistan not showing any concern towards Kashmir and its leaders can slowly push Kashmiri leaders into the lap of New Delhi. Many Kashmiris during past 20-years of turmoil in the Valley preferred to send their children outside the Valley for studies, many students after completing their courses got jobs in different states and stayed back due to lack of avenues in JK. It seems in the process of looking for better avenues, many Kashmiri youth have got merged into Indian mainstream and have decided not to return. One cannot blame the Kashmiri youth for their decision as Pakistan in past 20-years, when its Kashmir policy was crystal clear, had nothing to offer to them except a few dreams, which got shattered along with the passage of time.
Geelani being angry with Pakistan is justified as he all along despite odds has preached resistance. He has always tried to infuse new blood into Kashmir movement and has remained firm on his stand. Geelani also knows it very well that people of Kashmir cannot wait forever and they cannot be motivated again and again to keep the Kashmir movement alive.
Leaders of Pakistan leave no stone unturned to claim that Kashmir issue has to be settled, but it seems nothing more than a lip service. It is unfortunate that Pakistan leadership has not lived up to the expectations of Kashmiris. For them the first priority always has been their own issues and Kashmir just a “time pass.”
One hopes that Pakistan leadership gives up its double standards and comes clear on Kashmir. Mere statements are not going to help. If Islamabad has decided that its bonhomie with New Delhi is going to continue and nothing would come in its way, even Kashmir, then it should make it clear. Pakistani leaders should stop using Kashmir as an issue to score political points over their opponents. If they have realized that they are not capable enough to resolve this issue then they should make it clear rather than describing it as a “jugular vein.” If that happens it would give a chance to people of Kashmir to devise their own strategy and would also provide them with an opportunity to think what is good and bad for them.
There is no dearth of leaders in Kashmir and they are capable enough to handle any situation. Kashmiri leaders have quite often proved that they can draw millions and events of past three years stand a testimony to it. They cannot ask their people to wait and wait till Pakistan sets its house in order. They know it very well that Pakistan not showing much interest in Kashmir has caused enough damage to Kashmir issue. Pakistan maintaining silence in 2010, when Kashmir unrest was at its peak, made many Kashmir leaders realize that they have to stand on their own feet.
Geelani speaking his heart out during the meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi is a clear indication that separatists have stopped looking towards Pakistan and they want to keep the Kashmir movement alive without any external support. Pakistan it seems wants to get rid of Kashmir and forge friendly ties with New Delhi.
These are testing times for Kashmiri leadership and they seem to be heading towards a tightrope walk in coming years. Time and tide only will decide where Kashmir would head towards. Presently fate of Kashmir and Kashmiris hangs in balance with only a few available options. Which option will people of Kashmir choose is still an open ended question which time would answer?