‘Unconditional dialogue cannot happen within the constitution of India’
‘Restore autonomy negotiated during the accession as a ‘confidence building measure’ before initiating a constructive dialogue’
“‘Accessionists’ called mainstream say accession is final. It’s not. Art 370 is proof”
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC) on Sunday said that the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, who is on a four day visit to the state, is here to ‘gauge and check the pulse of people’s resilience’.
JKCC, which is amalgam of traders and the civil society, also maintained that the government of India should start an ‘unconditional’ dialogue with the primary stakeholders of the Kashmir dispute; that is the people of Kashmir, Government of India and Pakistan.
“Unconditional dialogue cannot happen within the constitution of India,” said Mubeen Shah, former President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
He pointed out that the delegations which met the Rajnath Singh on the first day of his visit were the ‘fringe’ as no member from any apex body met him.
“This press conference has been necessitated by the current visit of the Home Minister of India with his open invitation to all, for a meeting followed by a formal invitation from the Divisional Administration to various trade bodies, either through letters or telephone calls. In a gross confusion a few trade organizations even met the Home Minister but an overwhelming majority did not respond,” members of the JKCC said.
Shah added, “There are about 15 tourism bodies and only four met them. No one from the apex bodies like the Kashmir Chamber, Kashmir Economic Alliance and others. So whoever met them is the ‘fringe’, as I call them.”
He pointed out that the purpose of Singh’s visit is to check ‘our resilience’.
“He is here to gauge and check how much resilience is left in us, has our back broken or not,” Shah said.
The members also mentioned that the GoI has to tell the true story of Kashmir to the masses in India so that an amicable dialogue can start.
While referring to the mainstream politicians as ‘accessionists’, Shah added that their belief that accession of the state with India is final, is totally wrong.
“Article 370 itself is a proof of the disputed nature of Kashmir. It was kept temporary because of the fact that the Government of India had gone to the United Nations for the settlement of the Kashmir issue because at that time they felt that the decision will be in their favour. Now the unfortunate part is that India calls us ‘Atoot Ang’ (Integral part) while as they themselves have kept an Article which describes the basic disputed nature of the Kashmir,” said Shah.
He added, “They will have to educate the people of India themselves about the true story of India. They will have to tell their people that the Article 370 is there because the UN resolutions have not been implemented till date.”
Shah asserted that it’s important to call out to those who think that the accession of the state with India is final.
“It’s very important to differentiate between ‘accessionists’, whom you (media) calls mainstream who believe that the accession is final… This has to be understood because then only can there be an amicable solution.”
Prominent industrialist Shakeel Qalander said that the GoI should restore the autonomy of the state negotiated during the accession as a ‘confidence building measure’ before initiating a constructive dialogue.
“Restore our status which you have promised us in the United Nations till our permanent settlement. That is where dialogue can be initiated. It cannot be started from 2017,” Qalander said.
He further added, “Announce that from New Delhi and then you are most welcome here to initiate a structured dialogue with the stakeholders which are the Kashmiri people, first and the foremost, and then India and Pakistan.”
He also reminded Singh of his promise that the ‘so called Non lethal’ pellet guns would be replaced. He also added that Singh has no moral authority to come in front of the people as he has failed to keep his word.
“Last year when thousands of our children were maimed and blinded and many killed, Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a press conference had said that the so called non lethal weapon-pellet gun will be replaced. They did bring a replacement and kept the pellet gun too. Now we want to ask him what happened to his promise which he made in that press conference,” Qalander said.
“Now he is back again to check our pulse, our resilience. I think he has no moral right to come in front of the people again if he has not kept his previous promises. So, stop coming here and instead sit at home and introspect, look into your mistakes,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the JKCC pointed out that New Delhi instead of ‘gauging the pulse of the people’s resilience every now and then, should take steps to resolve the Kashmir issue.
The statement issued a to-do list for GoI for bringing peace and conducive atmosphere in the state in which they demanded restoration of autonomous status, demilitarization of the civilian areas, withdrawal of AFSPA and PSA and initiate a time bound and unconditional dialogue with the Joint Resistance leadership and Pakistan, who are ‘relevant parties to the dispute’.