Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir on Friday said that mainstream and separatist leaders should get united to form the larger political consensus on the resolution of prolongedKashmir dispute.
“I think it is the high time that all the regional political parties that include separatists camp to shun away their differences and come under a single platform to seek Kashmir resolution,” Mir said while talking with Policy Pulse in Srinagar.
Mir was talking in reference to the current Kashmir unrest in which more than 50 people were killed, 100 maimed and around 3000 people got injured after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
The Congress chief said it would be only by the collective effort from all the stakeholders of Kashmir to approach New Delhi in an effective way, with a mutual consensus, rather than a divided house.
“How can we seek Kashmir resolution, when our own houses are divided. The mainstream political parties are always at loggerheads to pull each other down. And same is the case in the separatist camp. Nobody is willing to listen to each other and try to reach on a mutual understanding,” Mir said.
Mir said that unless political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir stand together, New Delhi and Islamabad would continue to derail the Kashmir dispute which has already consumed thousands of lives in the past two decades.
Citing the leadership crises in the Jammu and Kashmir, Mir said there is huge frustration at politicians' failure to respond to people's grievances and fight for their basic rights.
“Even though I am a congress man but I have no hesitation to say that after Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, there has been a dearth of a leadership in Kashmir. I don’t see any leader after him who has that potential to lead the people of Kashmir,” he said.
When asked, if he would follow Chairman of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani, in an efforts to forge unity, Mir said he is ready to support anyone who would be unanimously chosen by the people as their representative.
“Our party has never been power hungry. And that’s why we always been the B-team in any coalition government in the state. If Geelani sahib will be the people’s choice, then I am willing to follow him,” he said.
Mir who was a Tourism Minister in the Congress- National Conference coalition Government, said keeping in view the current turmoil in the valley, it was the moral duty of all the politicians to rise above from their pity politics and help in bringing the situation back to the normal.
“I said the same thing to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in all party delegation meeting. In 2010 agitation, PDP went all guns blazing to clamp down the Government, even though I reminded Mehbooba ji that period but at the same time I assured her that our party won’t go that low at this juncture,” Mir said.
However, Mir expressed his disappointment over the lackadaisical approach of the government in dealing with the situation.
“Despite our suggestion to the Chief Minister, we haven’t seen any practical implementation on the ground. The government has failed to tackle the situation amicably,” he said.
(Please read the full interview in our next edition)