Zardari has termed the Kashmiri Freedom Fighters (including the Hurriyat Conference) as Terrorists.
President Zardari termed the Hurriat leaders in occupied Kashmir as “terrorists”, adding that he had no objection to the India-US nuclear cooperation pact so long as Islamabad was treated “at par” with New Delhi. The News
In his first press conference after taking oath as the President of Pakistan, Zardari had said that the world would soon hear good newon Kashmir. Having called Kashmiris terrorists he has doled out tons of good news for India, not for Kashmir! For me this is no surprise as I blogged earlier about Zardari’s claims:
….one should really not expect anything huge (at most the good news may be opening of trade route)…
And trade routes are already in the process of being opened
…And about Zardari, one should not expect much from Zardari, who is disliked in Pakistan apparently more than Musharraf was…
Read the entire post Zardari’s Good News May Be No News At All here.
Much before he was elected a President, in March, he suggested that Pakistan would put the Kashmir issue on the back burner, for the future generations to solve. It was obvious since then, Zardari wanted to concentrate on trade ties with India! A single person though can not change what an entire nation thinks, therefore he had to back-track on his first comment on Kashmir. The vibes of how he felt about Kashmir were sent across nevertheless. He may draw some flak in Pakistan for his latest quip, however the effect it will have (and is supposed to cause) will not reverse. I just blogged about The End Of Hurriyat, and it appears to be a lot more truer and closer than I imagined; Pakistan is finally pulling the plug on Hurriyat and that would be Hurriyat’s last nail in the coffin.
I sincerely hope that a new, free from bias, young leadership emerges in Kashmir. In October of 1947 Kashmir was occupied by India, and it appears in the October of 2008, the equations in Kashmir will change drastically.
UPDATE: Statement Retracted
As expected, the Government of Pakistan has retracted the statement:
She [Pakistan's Information Minister] said that President Asif Zardari had never linked Kashmir liberation struggle to terrorism. In a statement, the federal minister reiterated government’s resolve to hold talks with India on the dispute. The News
All the pro-Independence leaders have flayed Zardari’s remarks; though the remarks are not even half as critical of Zardari as a simple out-of-the-box suggestion from Musharraf usually led to.
Greater Kashmir’s anger is obvious, being the most widely read newspaper, it is a pleasure to see that it did not mute down the expression of anger against Pakistan. With Begging Bowl In Hand , Zardari calls Kashmiri Militants ‘Terrorists’ is how Greater Kashmir reacted. JKLF’s response makes it clear that they have been shocked beyond comprehension; JKLF wants Zardari to take a History course. DeM (Duktaran – e – Millat), who are still living in the delusion that Musharraf’s fall was a consequence of his Kashmir policies, now await Zardari’s fall. In Baramullah, a town where sentiments for Pakistan are the strongest and which has produced the largest number of Pro-Pakistani leaders, people burnt an effigy of Zardari, a first since 1979 when effigies of Zia-ul-Haq were burnt against his decision to hang Zardari’s father-in-law Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
To read Zardari’s interview on Wall Street Journal, click here, Also read the orders Zardari has given to track and arrest those who write jokes on him; you may also be interested in Zardaris’ T.G.I.F. in Manhattan.