Missing ingredient in new formula New avenues for Islamabad, New Delhi

The pro-resistance leadership issues statements on a daily basis. While most of the statements are issued to commemorate martyrdom anniversaries of slain militants, at times the statements merit an in-depth study. Syed Ali Geelani issued a statement the other day through his spokesman rejecting General Parvez Musharraf’s four-point-formula as a solution to the Kashmir conflict.

 

 

He said the formula was a modified version of autonomy and self rule and makes no mention of self determination and sacrifices offered by the people. Musharraf’s formula suggests joint control of India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir and flexibility of borders.
 
Some important players including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq believe the formula can form the basis for a final solution of the conflict. However, Geelani has rejected it the day it was made public. His spokesman, in the above quoted statement said Musharraf discussed the formula with Geelani in detail during a meeting.  According to him, Geelani conveyed to him (Musharraf) in clear terms that it was not practicable and Kashmiris were not ready to give up their struggle for self determination. “Musharraf conveyed to Geelani that he was for status quo”, the spokesman said.
 
Similarly the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) rejected the formula as ridiculous. It also published a pamphlet giving reasons for rejecting the formula. Musharraf is presently not in picture (apparently). Geelani having already rejected the formula was not expected to come out with a detailed statement on it now. But, the timing of the statement conveys much more than the statement itself.
 
The Hurriyat (M) delegation has just arrived from Pakistan. They interacted with the leaders including Pakistan President and Prime Minister. They also met the leaders of opposition and the civil society members. The delegation has described the Pakistan visit `very successful’. Geelani is a staunch supporter of Pakistan and has people there who inform him about various developments. Did he issue the statement to sabotage `something’ that has been finalized? Or, did he simply play safe? While it remains to be ascertained, the pre-Pakistan visit developments have to be taken into consideration and analyzed.
 
Of late both the countries have shown interest in smoothening bilateral ties. The foreign ministers have met and discussed issues of bilateral interest. This was followed by talks at the secretary level. Pakistan cricket team is currently in India for an ODI series. Cricketing ties, it may be mentioned, were snapped after the Mumbai attacks in 2008.
 
 Secondly, India allowed, rather facilitated the Pakistan visit of the Hurriyat (M) delegation. Another important factor also needs to be studied thoroughly. Former chairman of the separatist conglomerate, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat has visited Pakistan and stayed there for quite some time. He is also fascinated by Musharraf’s formula and makes no bones about it. He has openly opposed UN resolutions and hinted an alliance with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) in May last year.
 
Before leaving for Pakistan, the Hurriyat (M) issued a statement urging `hardcore’ elements to show some flexibility. Although nobody was named in the statement yet people drew an inference that it was for Geelani.
 
The Hurriyat (G) has made clear that the conflict can be resolved by giving the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right to self determination. Geelani’s spokesman said that the conglomerate was bound by the 1993 constitution which rules out any kind of `shortcuts’ and stresses need for implementation of UN resolutions. In 2010, Geelani announced his five-point-formula. It urged India to accept Jammu Kashmir as a disputed territory.   
 
Interestingly, Parvez Musharraf has repeatedly said that former prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee almost agreed with his formula.  Vajpayee, it may be mentioned, is being held in high esteem by the pro-resistance leadership in Kashmir.
 
And lastly the geo-political developments that have taken place and are likely to take place in the coming days suggest that something is being cooked in Islamabad and New Delhi. Former Law Minister of India, Ram Jethmalani, during a visit to Kashmir last year agreed that 2014 would be important for India, Pakistan and Kashmir.  He said India and Pakistan will have to taken a decision on Kashmir before 2014.

Geelani’s statement, therefore, assumes much importance.  But what can he do, if New Delhi and Islamabad have agreed to do `something’.  And, can India and Pakistan afford to do `something’ without taking him on board?