Zardari, in his first press conference after being sworn in as President of Pakistan said:
“Insha Allah, we will have some good news” on Kashmir
he said [that] the PPP government will consult all political forces in Pakistan, both inside and outside Parliament, to forge some kind of a strategy to resolve the Kashmir issue.
This will be taken to the Kashmir Committee in Parliament, Zardari said, adding the work done through back-channel diplomacy will also be part of this. Indian Express
Definitely nothing is in the pipeline right now, one should really not expect anything huge (at most the good news may be opening of trade route) before (or even after) the Indian elections (and not certainly from this man, read later on why). His second statement makes it obvious that work (of whatever sort) has to be started and is not yet done on the Kashmir issue. As he says, PPP will consult parties, forge a strategy which will be taken to the Kashmir Committee. And one should also not forget that as fate has it for Kashmir, no news which has been delivered by external forces has been good for Kashmir since the last 61 years. The only good news Kashmiris should expect and look forward to is the news we, the Kashmiris create and deliver. As the present non-violent movement evolves, Kashmir may see a bright new day, not so soon maybe, but not too far either.
The separatists in Kashmir have welcomed the dialogue process cautiously and they should not pin too many hopes on it either, Kashmiris have been time and again packed under words and abbreviations, be it the CBMs, the Healing Touch, the Formulas and now Good News!
“We won’t accept any decision which is thrust on Kashmiris. Solution has to come according to the aspirations of the people of J&K
“In the eyes of people of Kashmir, dialogue institution has lost its sanctity, because for the last 62 years dialogue process couldn’t yield any results. To restore the sanctity, this dialogue process must be time bound and transparent,” Greater Kashmir
“As Kashmiris we have always welcomed Indo-Pak dialogue, but unfortunately Kashmiris were never allowed to be part of it. We welcome Zardari Sahib’s statement, but till Kashmiris aren’t part of it, it won’t deliver.” Greater Kashmir
Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat ud Dawa (formerly LeT) has claimed that Zardari’s policy will be no different than Musharraf and warned Zardari of trouble if the policies are not changed.
…warned that if the president-elect Asif Ali Zardari and his government did not change the policies of the former president, Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan would be in great trouble.
Hafiz Saeed claimed that Zardari’s policy would only strengthen Musharraf’s policies. Greater Kashmir
Musharraf actually had no policy on Kashmir, he just put a gag on the Jihadi organisations operating from Pakistan and that worried the top-bosses of these organisations, since liberation of Kashmir from India and merger with Pakistan appears to be their only goal. A goal a majority of Kashmiris are not comfortable with. Over 75% of Kashmiris want complete independence from India and Pakistan. Changing One master for Another is not really what the Kashmiris are demanding. The viability of independence as an option has been discussed elsewhere by Kashmir Bloggers and is not the topic of discussion in this post. Still, those who talk about Kashmir being a land-locked country, we do all know that no country in the world exists in isolation and Kashmir had survived fine without India till 1947, so no worries on that front. It should also be noted that the UN Resolution of Self Determination did include the option of Complete Independence but it was dropped after extensive lobbying by the then Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Zafarullah Khan
The indulgence of the Jihadi organisations in any form at this point of time will be counter-productive for Kashmir. Kashmir has risen without any leader(s) asking them to and the protests will continue to evolve in a non-violent manner. Any act by the Jihadi organisations to lead or include guns will cause irrecoverable harm to Kashmir. Even Indian politicians are unable to peg this uprising on Pakistan, ISI or the Jihadi Organizations and they are looking for a chance to do so and Hafiz Saeed might give them just that.
And about Zardari, one should not expect much from Zardari, who is disliked in Pakistan apparently more than Musharraf was, here is a review of what Pakistani Bloggers think about this man:
General Zardari As President
We are so lucky that we are ruled by drunk bearucrats, corrupt army generals and offcial dacoits!
Adnan’s Crazy Blogging World
So We Get A New President
Allah save t[h]e country now … I wonder how many months it’ll take to have the whole country sold .. you think it can be done in Days?
Welcome To Mr. Zardari’s Pakistan
Benazir actually gave Pakistan as her last dowry gift to her widower. But I don’t think even she would have ever thought that Mr. Zardari would one day become “President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. In fact when I voted for PPP in last election, I never thought that PPP will make such a mockery of the mandate given by people of Pakistan.