SRINAGAR: Advocating former president Pervez Musharraf’s four-point formula for Kashmir, former BJP legislator and eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani said on Saturday the document should be the basis for a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue and that Mr Musharraf’s efforts were “frustrated” by India.
“Mr Musharraf came to India with a firm and honest intention. His proposal is a fantastic solution to the Kashmir problem. It is a wonderful document which should be the basis for a permanent solution of Kashmir. I have no difficulty in confessing that his efforts were frustrated by India and not Pakistan,” the 91-year-old leader told reporters here.
Mr Jethmalani, who is chairman of the Kashmir Committee, also claimed he had made some changes to Mr Musharraf’s proposals. “I have been working for Kashmir for a long time and Musharraf knew. He sent his proposal to me through a common friend. I made some changes to the document as part of the proposals on behalf of the Kashmir Committee which Musharraf accepted. The whole purpose of the document is that there should be a secular democracy on both sides,” he said.
The Kashmir Committee was constituted in 2002 to reach out to Kashmiri leaders. Referring to the role of the committee in the current scenario, Mr Jethmalani had said on August 16: “It is still alive and doing its job, but sometimes has to work out of public eye.”
The former union minister, who was expelled from the BJP earlier this year, said a formal body comprising statesmen and recognised by both India and Pakistan should be set up to see to it that people were not exploited by the two governments. The head of the Kashmir Committee said he was in constant touch with the Kashmiri leaders and not all of them were “Pakistani agents”.
By arrangement with the Times of India
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2014