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Kashmir hardliner slams Musharraf proposals

Srinagar
Dec 07, 2006:

Syed Ali Shah Geelani
S A Geelani
Hardline Kashmiri separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani today rejected Pakistan President General Musharraf’s recent formula on Kashmir and criticised the General for ‘coming up with proposals on his own’.

Geelani, who heads the hardline faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, told reporters here that Musharraf was acting under fear and panic.

“After 9/11 General Musharaf has been working under fear and uncertainty that is why he is coming up with formulas again and again’ Geelani said.

In an interview with an Indian news channel this week, Musharraf proposed a four point formula for self rule under joint Indo-Pak supervision for Kashmir.

The formula advocates free movement of Kashmiris across the ceasefire line, self-governance or autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, withdrawal of troops in phases, and a joint supervision mechanism, with India, Pakistan and Kashmir represented.

General Musharaff added that if India agreed to the four point formula, Pakistan would give up its claim on Jammu and Kashmir. He also said the proposal was to be the final solution and not a step towards independence of Kashmir, as proposed by some groups.

Divided by a ceasefire line between India and Pakistan, both countries claim Jammu and Kashmir in full. Some of the portion is occupied by China.

Geelani is seen as a pro-Pakistan leader, who has not wavered from his position even when Pakistan did after 9/11. Geelani said today that ‘Kashmir movement’ was an indigenous one.

“We have been fighting for self determination. The movement is indigenous and people have the power to sustain it without support from anyone” the septuagenarian leader said.

Geelani also accused Musharraf of acting at his own behest ‘without taking his cabinet or opposition into confidence’.

“It is not for the first time that he has come up with a proposal. Earlier also he has forwarded proposals many a times but they haven’t evoked any response from India.” Geelani said.

India is yet to make an official reaction to General’s recent proposals, but voices from within the government have indicated that India is unlikely to accept the proposals.

Some of Musharraf’s previous proposals on Kashmir have only made headlines and not diplomatic breakthrough.

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