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APHC (M) bats for trilateral talks on J&K
Against constitutional position
3/5/2015 10:06:50 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Mar 5: Welcoming the foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan in Islamabad, held on March 3, the All-Party Huriyat Conference - Mirwaiz (APHC-M) on Wednesday urged India and Pakistan to move forward and resolve the Jammu & Kashmir issue on a priority basis, saying it was the most appropriate time to end the conflict over the state. "Kashmir issue must not be ignored or brushed aside and further precious time should not be wasted to initiate a meaningful dialogue process," it said after the end of the executive council meeting, which was held in Srinagar to discuss the outcome of talks between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan.
The APHC-M didn't stop just there. It went on to say that Jammu & Kashmir was a trilateral issue between India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu & Kashmir (in this case Kashmiri Muslims) and it would be only desirable if the talks were held between the three parties to resolve the issue. "To achieve a breakthrough what is truly needed is determined political leadership in India, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir displaying extraordinary foresight, courage, creativity and political imagination. There is a need for all sides to radically depart from the patterns and policies of the past and move towards a serious search for solutions," it said, and added that "the time has come for India and Pakistan and people of Jammu & Kashmir to engage in a serious effort to resolve the Kashmir issue once and for all".
Is Jammu & Kashmir really a trilateral issue? Certainly not. It is a bilateral issue between the two countries and the only issue which still remains unresolved between the two countries is the political future of the so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan region, which have been under the illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947. The 1972 Shimla Agreement that was reached between Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, which nullified all the earlier resolutions, including the UN resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir, said in unequivocal terms that all the issues, including the issue of Jammu & Kashmir, would be resolved through bilateral talks between the two countries. There was no suggestion anywhere in the Shimla Agreement about trilateral talks between India, Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir.
Sadly, the Shimla Agreement was nothing but an ignominious diplomatic defeat India suffered on the negotiating table at a time when New Delhi was in a position to dictate terms and take back from Pakistan the illegally-occupied areas, which were, and are, legitimately Indian. That was the time when the Indian Army had won a spectacular victory against Pakistan, helped the people of the then East Pakistan become an independent and sovereign nation (Bangladesh) and made over 90,000 Pakistani soldiers and Generals to lay down arms and surrender. Indeed, Indira Gandhi and her advisors failed India at a time when the entire Indian nation was rallying behind the Prime Minister and hailing the Indian victory as the most splendid military feat.
The fact of the matter is that the APHC-M, like many other Kashmir-based separatist outfits, consider the Jammu & Kashmir issue trilateral conveniently overlooking the fact that Jammu & Kashmir issue was settled way back in October 1947, when the Maharaja of the state, who alone had the power to decide the fate of his state under the constitutional law on the subject, linked the fate of the state with India once and for all by signing an instrument of accession which was hundred per cent similar to the one signed by other princely states. They also overlook the fact that Kashmir is the smallest region of the state, which occupied only less than 19 per cent of the state's land area, and that the state consists of three distinct regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Kashmir and Kashmiri separatists cannot determine the fate of the people of Jammu and Ladakh whose commitment to India is unflinching and whose people have been making supreme sacrifices since 1947 to defeat the Kashmiri seditionists and communalists. Jammu & Kashmir is a bilateral issue and no power on earth can change the political status of the state. Any attempt made by anybody to impose the will of the Kashmiri seditionists on the people of Jammu and Ladakh would only led to the disintegration of the state. There should be no doubt about it.
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