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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

‘Will it stop bloodshed in Kashmir?’: Geelani says border truce ‘in itself is as disturbing as it is surprising’

Enquiring whether the border truce announced by the militaries of India and Pakistan ‘will stop the bloodshed in Kashmir’, ailing resistance leader Syed Ali Geelani on Sunday questioned Islamabad, asking: ‘doesn’t it appear to be a process to roll the clock back to Shimla Agreement and put Kashmir again on the backburner?’

In a statement issued on micro-blogging website twitter, Geelani wrote: ‘the development in itself is as disturbing as it is surprising’.

“Ever since India’s brazen aggression on August 5, 2019, we have been hearing assurance after assurance that there will be no engagement with New Delhi until it rolls back everything it did on August 5. Now we know that back channel talks have been going between the two sides for several months culminating in the latest DGMO pact,” Geelani noted in the letter signed by his special representative Saiyyed Abdullah Gilani.

“May one ask why this contradiction between the stated policy and action? Or for that matter, may one ask why this secrecy on a matter of such national and international importance,” Geelani, who’s demand is the implementation of United Nations resolutions to solve the Kashmir dispute, asked without naming Pakistan.

Pakistan and India’s militaries have agreed to strictly observe a ceasefire at the de facto border between the two countries in the disputed region, and other agreements – a rare thaw in relations between the two nuclear armed South Asian neighbours.

Raising concern over the joint statement that the both countries issued after agreeing upon the border truce, Geelani asked: “Without any reference to August 5, 2019 aggression, what does it mean?”

“Doesn’t it appear to be a process to roll the clock back to Shimla Agreement Times and put Kashmir again on the backburner? What this attitude particularly does is, it reduces Kashmir issue to a border dispute between India and Pakistan which is in stark contradiction with the standpoint of the Kashmiri people,” the resistance leader, who remains confined to his home in Srinagar, said.

He asserted: “For us Kashmir is not a border dispute between two countries, it is the question of the destiny and future of 22 million people. We are the principal party here and it is our say that will be final in resolving the issue.”

“There has been particular buzz around a statement, particularly in India that says ‘it is time to extend a hand of peace in all directions’, while it is a good though but do we realize that if there is anybody in dire need of peace at this point it is Kashmir and Kashmir people. The pact might make the guns silent on the borders but will it stop bloodshed in Kashmir? Will it stop the reign of terror India has unleashed on Kashmir people? The answer is an emphatic no. The pact does not therefore reflect the interest of Kashmir people,” Geelani concluded.

Pertinently, the northern command of the Indian army on Saturday said the agreement between India and Pakistan to strictly adhere to the ceasefire pact along the Line of Control would have no bearing on its operations inside Jammu and Kashmir.

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