Unite on poll boycott: Geelani ‘Kashmir, Palestine are under illegal occupation’

M Aslam Bhat 

Q: You recently called for anti-Israel protests in Kashmir and said that there is no difference be- tween Kashmir and Palestine as far as the atroci- ties and genocide of innocent people is concerned. It is not understandable how Gaza is like Kashmir? 

A: It is quite understandable that there is absolutely no difference between Palestine and Kashmir. Both the regions are under illegal occupation. Jews were under a proper plan set- tled in Palestine so that West could control the Muslim world and now genocide against the Muslims is carried out with the sole objective to suppress the just voice of the innocents. Had it been the government of Al-Ikhwan in Egypt, Israel would have never dared to attack Gaza.

Al-Ikhwan people were brave hearts and their priority was to safeguard the interests of  Ummah but their regime was crushed and Fa-tah was installed on the chair. Fatah is an offshoot of Israel. The move was made just to bring Egypt under control of the western powers so that the region could not become a hiding place for the Palestinian Mujahideen. In Kashmir, the forces were settled without any legitimacy. Otherwise, Kashmir was the natural part of Pakistan. In 1947, Kashmir had 85 percent Muslims; 750 miles of borders were with the Pakistan. We had rivers that flow towards that country.

Q: What is your opinion about the announcement of Caliphate in Iraq and Al-Baghdadi as a Caliph?

A: Nothing can be said about this situation. We have to see whether those persons who claim to have established the ca- liphate in Iraq are that much qualified or not. We must under- stand that the present status of the caliphate must meet the requirements for the same we have witnessed the four pious caliphs of Islam in the past.

As far as our stand is concerned, we will keep wait and watch policy vis-à-vis the situation in Iraq. If they are in real terms meet the requirements of the caliphate establishment. Later, it will be their principle to strive for the rights of the oppressed Muslim world. If you read Quran you will find what is written there. Quran clearly says in Surah Nisa ‘And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Al- lah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and ap- point for us from Yourself a protec- tor and appoint for us from Your- self a helper?”

Q: What would be your strategy vis-à-vis the coming elections in Jammu and Kashmir?

A: As far as the polls are concerned, our strategy is clear. The people at present who are asking for the votes in no way deserve the same. They are the looters and legitimize the il- legal occupation. Voters here have no reason to vote. We have adopted this stand after the elections of 1987 when the losers were declared win- ners and vice-versa.

When Huriyat Conference was constituted in 1993, its constitution clearly says that elections are unacceptable in JK and that no person associated with the amalgam will take part in the fray. In 1996, there were mainly three active players in the election boycott campaign. It was me, Late Abdul Gani Lone and Mohammad Yasin Malik. Other parties of the Huriyat used to send their constituents. In the same way, there must be unanimous approach by the pro- freedom camp about the election boycott campaign.

I want all the resistance parties to extend a call for complete boycott of elections. We have seen earlier that some parties termed it as a non-issue, then the administrative mater and later when they saw people in large number boycotting the polls, they too issued a boycott call.

Q: There is a perception that boycott benefits a particular mainstream political party. What is your opinion about it?

A: No, this assessment is not based on facts. This is absolutely absurd. We have seen that recently when we launched Boycott cam- paign, it didn’t benefit the particular party, rather PDP got anti-NC votes. The votes were not actually in PDP’s favor.

Q: You in a recent interview said that for Kashmir resolution you will seek help even from Hafiz Sayeed. Could you elaborate that?

A: I was quoted wrongly. I didn’t ask for Hafiz Sayeed’s help as was reported. I stated that it is the moral responsibility of every Pakistani citizen to raise voice for Kashmir. Isn’t that a policy of Pakistan? Hafiz Sayeed is also a Pakistani cit- izen and in that capacity it is also his moral duty to support Kashmir cause.

Q: It is being observed at present on ground that there is no coordination between the pro-freedom groups of valley. Are there any chances of unity among pro freedom groups?

A: There are sometimes the serious issues that need immediate reaction. We cannot discuss that prior to that incident. We keep on discussing the issue. We may miss the chance to react.

Q: What is your stand on dialogue if UN resolutions are not implemented?

A: Our stand is clear. We want India to fulfill its promises it made to the people of Kashmir in the United Nations. If the same are not implemented, then the dialogue over the issue is conditional. India, Pakistan and resistance leadership of Kash- mir must sit together and the same be done under the purview of United Nations or any third friendly country.

And later by consensus, if Independent status of Kashmir emerges as a solution, we are ready to accept that also. But at the same time, any solution is not acceptable of Kashmir that would be under the purview of Indian constitution.

Q: During the participation of Pak premier in the oath ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Kashmir word was skipped. How do you view that?

A: We cannot say that there is any change of strategy in Pakistan’s approach vis-à-vis Kashmir. We know that Pakistan right from the day one is striving for Kashmir cause. This could be there strategy but we cannot say that they have changed their stand.

Q: There are the reports that GOI is initiating track- II dialogue with the separatists. What is your stand?

A: No person has approached us. We have no such information. We have already made it clear that Kashmir is not an issue between India and Pakistan. We cannot accept any  ready made solution of Kashmir.