Senior separatist leader and Muslim Conference Chairman Professor Abdul Gani Bhat has urged upon India to recognize that the Kashmir issue is not a peripheral or isolated one and if left unattended it will engulf whole of sub-continent into flames.Bhat told CNS that both India and Pakistan should understand the ground realities and instead of confrontation should find ways and means to find an amicable solution to this long pending problem. “In the past people of Kashmir many attempts to reach out to India and apprise Indian people of the Kashmir issue and the grim situation on the ground, but all these efforts were thwarted by the use of brute force and hooliganism. If India continues to use force and muzzle the voices of common people in Kashmir then surely it will have serious ramifications for India,” he said.Bhat said that the Kashmir issue continues to destroy life and obliterate the rights and aspirations of people in Kashmir who desire only to live free, peaceful and dignified lives. “The continuation of this tragic conflict is also a direct threat to India’s interests and well-being as a people.
The conflict is not only a threat to millions of Kashmiris, it is a serious hazard for the one billion-plus population of India and for the population of the entire region. There is no better time than now for India to exercise their leadership to resolve the Kashmir issue,” he said.The senior separatist leader while expressing anguish over the unabated killings in Kashmir said that a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue would unleash immense prosperity and economic benefits for India and for the entire South Asia Region. “Unfortunately, rather than pursuing a political solution in Kashmir, successive governments in New Delhi have continued to waste the taxes of people and precious economic resources to pursue a militaristic policy on Kashmir. At huge economic and human cost, this approach represents a failed policy. It has only ended up deepening the conflict.”Bhat said that resolution of Kashmir issue is in the interest of both Pakistan and India. “While India’s economic growth has slowed in the last few years, arms imports have increased by a phenomenal 111 per cent in the past five years. Kashmir is draining India’s economy, while filling the coffers of other countries that are benefiting as arms exporters. Indeed, the Kashmir conflict is a direct threat to India’s prosperity,” he said adding that Kashmir stands as a potential nuclear flashpoint which could consume the lives of millions of people in an instant. (CNS)