Making a fresh demand for a result-oriented dialogue, the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) on Monday demanded setting up of Kashmir committees in India and Pakistan to find an everlasting solution to the Kashmir issue.
“We look forward to entering into a dialogue based on shared commitments... Let the Government of India establish and empower an official body, a Kashmir Committee, consisting of senior representatives of major political parties to develop and enter into a process of engagement with representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a joint memorandum.
“We believe that a similar Kashmir Committee, bringing together all political forces, should also be established in Pakistan. We will suggest to political parties in Pakistan that this be done,” the memorandum addressed to the all-party delegation said.
The memorandum said, “This (setting up of Kashmir committees) will ensure that all major political forces in India and Pakistan are on board with the peace process and it will help institutionalise and sustain the process to resolve the Kashmir problem.
“On our part we are ready and willing to engage and sustain a meaningful and irreversible process of dialogue designed to avoid the failures of the past and to jointly develop and implement a solution to the Kashmir dispute that is acceptable to all sides — India, Pakistan and above all the people of the State,” it said.
“We must render the process immune from domestic politics and tendencies to act as spoilers,” it said adding “achieving a solution to the Kashmir issue should now rise above vote bank politics and be taken up as a national agenda shared by all, worked for by all, and risked for by all major political parties of India.”
Defending the decision of the Mirwaiz and Mr. Malik to skip the meeting with the all-party delegation, the memorandum said, “... to voice our unequivocal condemnation of the killings of our children and youth, we choose not to meet with your delegation.”
“We are now wary that your visit today, however well-intentioned, represents only an effort at short-term crisis management and that there is no clear commitment nor path towards effective resolution of the Kashmir issue and addressing the aspirations and interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
“We ask not for unilateral political concessions but rather a joint commitment to a meaningful process that guarantees results. We believe this is possible only if serious efforts are made to create a conducive environment for dialogue by removal of the harsh and repressive measures that are in force here, to suppress our aspirations and our fundamental democratic rights,” it said.
“We have seen in the past that it is only when a major crisis erupts that visible efforts are made to engage and understand our aspirations. And as soon as the immediate crisis subsides, the demonstrated and inherent political complacency and negligence is restored,” it said.
“To create a beginning and to sustain the process of dialogue we need to create a process in which all views and options — most of all Kashmiri aspirations will be considered and explored before arriving at an acceptable solution.
“Let resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir become a Common Minimum Programme shared by all political parties in India and in Pakistan,” the memorandum said.
It said “let this process be transparent and designed to deliver a negotiated solution to the Kashmir issue that is mutually worked towards by and acceptable to all parties concerned.
“For an entire generation, more than 20 years, we have engaged in multiple exercises of dialogue and talks with the Government of India.
“We took risks to do so and some amongst us sacrificed their lives to tread the path of peacemaking, while others amongst us paid with our credibility. We give some suggestions with a view to generating a favourable political climate for a purposeful dialogue like revocation of draconian laws, release of political prisoners, withdrawal of troops and zero tolerance for human rights but these suggestions were not taken seriously yet,” the memorandum added.