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What they say after summit?
|Dr. Farooq Abdullah,
Chief Minister: Talks held at Agra cannot be termed as failure. India
and Pakistan have made a good beginning and there have to be many more
rounds between the two countries to reach an agreement. There is no doubt
that Kashmir is the central issue between India and Pakistan. As cross-
border terrorism is our prime concern, it is directly connected to Kashmir
Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat, Chairman APHC: Though both Atal Behari
Vajpayee and Gen. Pervez Musharraf failed to construct the Taj Mahal of
peace at Agra, a good beginning has been made. For the first time India
invited Pakistan for talks and the main agenda of talks was Kashmir.
Whatever the two countries could not achieve from Tashkent to Lahore was
attained at Agra. It is now the responsibility of both the countries to
take this process ahead with full sincerity and honesty. Agra summit was
however a victory for the people of Kashmir as for the first time, they
were consulted by Pakistan prior to entering into talks with India.
Syed Ali Geelani, Jamaat-e-Islami leader: India’s hard and tough
attitude is responsible for the talks’ failure. I have been saying from
day one that not much expectation should be attributed to the summit.
Pakistan president Gen. Pervez Musharraf, however, succeeded in placing
his country’s point of view on Kashmir with full strength. I hope that
the General will firmly stick to this stand on Kashmir.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman Awami Action Committee: It is
unfortunate that the talks failed due to unrealistic approach adopted by
New Delhi. Agra summit has exposed India’s approach before the whole
world. Agra has proved beyond doubt that external interference was
essential and India and Pakistan cannot settle the Kashmir issue
Shabbir Ahmad Shah, president Democratic Freedom Party: India has
failed to play the role of ‘elder brother’. Though not much was
expected from the Agra summit, ‘no results’ was also not expected.
India’s tough stand was a hitch in the way of reaching an agreement.
Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, provisional president, National Conference:
Kashmir is a dispute and unless it is accepted as the central issue, no
talks can succeed. Though New Delhi has never demonstrated sincerity on
Kashmir, both the countries have to adopt a compromising attitude to find
a solution of this complex problem. Though India is committed to settle
this issue, there are enough indications to believe that New Delhi wants
to settle the issue on the basis of force. The people of Kashmir are to be
included in the process of negotiations to find a solution.
Asiya Andrabi, chief, Dukhtaran-e-Millat: The hard attitude
demonstrated by India has strengthened the belief that jihad was the only
way to liberate Kashmir. Gen. Musharraf has succeeded in exposing the dual
policy of India, hence he deserves all praise. It is now up to mujahideen
to intensify their activities to reply to the Indian stand.
Javed Ahmad Mir, vice president, JKLF: It was once again proved
beyond doubt that unless India and Pakistan resolve the basic Kashmir
issue, their relations cannot improve. The government of India must allow
Hurriyat Conference leaders to visit Pakistan, so that they consult
Mujahideen and other leaders for a permanent solution of the Kashmir
Mohammad Shafi Quraishi, president, PCC(I): Agra talks had generated hopes
that both the countries would be able to improve their relations. But
unfortunately the talks could not achieve anything. In aggregate Gen.
Musharraf emerged victorious.
Nayeem Ahmad Khan, chairman National Front: By not signing any
document of India’s will, Pakistani president has proved that he was not
ready for any kind of sellout. India’s stand that Kashmir issue was the
result of border terrorism, is highly condemnable.
Mufti Mehbooba, vice president , Peoples Democratic Party: Both the
countries were facing internal pressure which led to failure of talks.
However, we should not give up hopes. One day will come when India and
Pakistan will have to be friends.
Abdul Rashid Kabuli, vice president, state BJP: Agra summit
provided an opportunity to both the countries to rectify their past
mistakes but hardliners from both the countries left no stones unturned in
making the negotiations a failure. People had attributed many hopes to the
summiteers they want peace and prosperity.
M. Yusuf Tarigammi, Secretary, CPI(M): It is unfortunate on the
part of both the countries that they squandered an opportunity like Agra
summit. It is high time that both the countries realize the importance of
sorting out their pending problems through dialogue and other peaceful
Nazir Ahmad Ronga, president, Kashmir Bar Association: India has
failed to reciprocate the flexibility shown by Pak president Gen.
Musharraf. It was high time for India to start a meaningful process to
settle the Kashmir issue.
Sheikh Mohammad Siddiq, trade union leader: Gen. Pervez Musharraf
managed to get Kashmir recognized as the core or central issue, as the
whole process, which lasted for three days, came to zero because of
Abdul Ghani Lone, chairman, People’s Conference: Gen. Pervez
Musharraf is the first ruler of Pakistan who pleaded Kashmir case
fearlessly. Though the Agra talks were resultless, there are hopes that
the dialogue between the two nuclear powers will continue. q