Omar's realistic approach to Kashmir dispute, says Mirwaiz

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's statement in the Assembly on Wednesday on the Kashmir issue is an ‘endorsement' of his party's stand.

In a statement here on Thursday, Mr. Geelani said it was the “illegal military presence” that forced Mr. Abdullah to acknowledge the truth, willingly or unwillingly.

“If it is a mere political stunt, we do not need to comment.” But if Mr. Abdullah really felt that Kashmir suffered betrayals and broken promises, “he should ask his conscience why he is impeding the voice of the oppressed from reaching the world by clinging to power.” Mr. Geelani said. “We are continuing the same struggle that was launched against the broken promises under the banner of the Plebiscite Front.”

Mr. Geelani said historical facts on the the Kashmir dispute were so strong that the issue resonated from the Assembly to the United Nations. “No one can deny this reality.”

“Even if the State is run by a Prime Minister instead of a Chief Minister, the military presence will force him to become a puppet. History has seen a Kashmir Prime Minister being arrested by an ordinary constable here.”

Commenting on the protests made in the Assembly by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders earlier in the day, Mr. Geelani said the BJP was a party of the “sick-minded” who are not in a position to accept reality.”

“The Kashmir issue is a creation of such minds, and in 1947 it is people like these who crushed democratic values and made Kashmiris their slaves.”

Meanwhile, moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq described the Chief Minister's statement as a realistic approach to the Kashmir dispute.

According to local news agency KNS, the Mirwaiz said: “It is a fact accepted even by U.N. that elections in the State do not affect the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir. Today, Mr. Abdullah has accepted this fact. However, “it needs to be seen whether he stands by what he has stated in the Assembly.”

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