Srinagar, Aug 21: Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has sought “insaniyat”, Kashmiriyat” and “jamhooriyat” to resolve the Kashmir dispute — ideas he derided when then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee propagated them in 2003.
“We want India to exhibit insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriat (composite secular, eclectic Kashmiri culture) and jamhooriyat (democracy). Nothing else,” the ailing octogenarian Hurriyat Chairman said, talking to his supporters in a videographed address from a hospital here.
The nearly 2.30-minute video clip, recorded apparently on Sunday, comes amid the NIA swooping on Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Geelani’s two sons and a son-in-law, for allegedly receiving money from Pakistan to be spent on stoking unrest in the Kashmir Valley.
Geelani espousing Vajpayee’s idea to solve the dragging dispute is significant because he has all along been opposed to it, saying Kashmir was an unfinished part of two-nation agenda and India and Pakistan needed to solve the issue bilaterally.
In fact, one of the reasons for the Hurriyat Conference to split into two factions in 2003 was differences over holding a dialogue with the Indian government after Vajpayee extended “a hand of friendship” to Pakistan and said “issues can be resolved if we move forward guided by three principles of insaniyat, jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat”.
The faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq agreed to hold a dialogue with then Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani in 2004, earning itself the tag of “renegades” by the group headed by Geelani who was opposed to any talks with New Delhi.
Geelani has all along been mocking Indian leaders over invoking Vajpayee’s mantra because “stalwarts and architects of insaniyat have left no stone un-turned to push us to the wall by all the means and might of their power and aggression”.
In the video available of social networking sites, Geelani said India needed to keep its promise of giving Kashmiris their right to self-determination to chose their future.
“We are not demanding that India should part away with its legitimate territory. We want India to progress, develop and be free. But they should not say no to the basic right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“India is the largest democracy in the world but as far as rights of Kashmiris are concerned it is not following its democratic norms,” he said.
The ailing separatist leader was recently taken to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar where he last week underwent a colonoscopy to remove a cyst found from his stomach.
Geelani had been admitted to the hospital after his heamoglobin count reducing continuously in the last six months. Doctors at the institute say he is stable now.