Monday, March 9, 2009

Day after his speech

Kashmiri leaders say: When Musharraf  smilies embrace him 

Naseer A Ganai

Srinagar, Mar 8: Day after the former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, described Kashmir as the “key dispute” and “sore point” and called for its urgent resolution, leaders in Kashmir welcomed his statements, saying, “India should come out of the denial mode and accept the realities.”  

 “I watched the whole program. He spoke well. One thing I have seen in Musharraf is that he doesn’t beat around the bush, he is not a hypocrite, and his focus during the speech was on Kashmir. Kashmir resolution is must for stability of the region,” Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said. On Friday, while speaking in the India Today Conclave in New Delhi, Musharraf said India and Pakistan should seek to resolve their differences, end the dispute over Kashmir urgently and work toward peace to help uplift the poor in both nations. 
 The nuclear-capable South Asian neighbors, which have fought three wars since independence in 1947, should “disengage and demilitarize,” Musharraf said. The “Berlin Wall” of the Line of Control that divides Kashmir needs to be made irrelevant, he said. “We have to resolve Kashmir without loss of time because it is impacting negatively on both our societies,” Musharraf said. “Kashmir remains the key dispute and the sore point,” he said.  
 Mirwaiz said India should understand the reality and should join Pakistan to address Kashmir dispute. Mirwaiz said Mushraff has always been ardent advocate of Kashmir resolution. “I have recently heard an interview of the National Security Advisor of India M.K Narayanan who stated that Musharaff was better person to deal with. Time has come for India to reciprocate,” Mirwaiz said. 
 Mirwaiz said Musharaff has pointed out the root cause of mistrust repeatedly whether in power or out of it and Indians must act realistically. He said even in the hostile audience, Musharaff pointed out hard realities before India, and India must accept it and it should come out of the denial mode. “When Musharraf speaks, you should listen to him,” Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir.   
 The Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that Musharraf stated nothing new. “When he was in power he repeatedly asked that Kashmir dispute should be resolved and he has reiterated the same stand,” he said. However, Geelani said it has to be seen whether the Government of India was ready to accept Kashmir as dispute. He said since 1950s hundreds of rounds of dialogue has taken place with India and it has not accepted the reality. Geelani said now there were no gunmen in Kashmir only unarmed people who were being fired open for demonstrating peacefully.
 President Pervez Musharraf yesterday warned that there could be more Kargil like conflicts if the “key dispute” and “sore point” Kashmir remains unresolved for long.
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