JEHANGIR ALI | 15 DECEMBER, 2015
Bhat Mediates for Political Reconciliation
Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Bhat
SRINAGAR: Terming the "right to self-determination" as a "flexible" idea, a senior Hurriyat leader Monday advocated "reconciliation" between India and Pakistan for resolving the Kashmir issue.
"In the changing world, you have to change, not by comprising on principles but working out different paths. Somewhere the two countries will have to talk but the exchange of ideas and negotiations should not be just for pleasure," Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat told The Citizen.
Reacting to the claims of the PDP president Mehbooba Mutfi that her party had consulted the Hurriyat in January before entering into the alliance with the BJP, Prof Bhat said her statement carries "no relevance".
"I won't waste my breath by speaking on it. I don't believe in digging in on an issue which has gone into deeper waters. I consider tomorrow more relevant and significant than yesterday. And I hope we will have a brighter tomorrow," he said.
Prof Bhat, who met the PDP patriarch Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in January before the PDP-BJP alliance was sealed, said the Hurriyat has rejected mainstream politics and fights for the right of self determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"What is the right to self determination?" Prof Bhat said, "Politics is the art of exploring possibilities. India and Pakistan have to reconcile with each other and evolve a roadmap for Kashmir. We have to do a lot of rethinking on various issues in the light of new geopolitical realities".
Welcoming the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan "after much acrimony", Prof Bhat said the two countries will hopefully take positive strides on Kashmir issue.
"All should go well. It is the future of not only the South Asian region but the entire world which is at stake in Jammu and Kashmir. We have to wait for more time and we should be prepared for the consequences which will come at a huge cost," he said.
Reacting to the former Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf's Four Point Formula, Prof Bhat said it can become one of the roadmaps for evolving a sustained and durable peace in Kashmir.
"We have to bring down the tall political orders. As a student of political science, I am amazed that the relations between India and Pakistan have been guided by the subcontinental irony which has done damage of immense proportions to the two countries," he said.