Syed Ali Shah Geelani , the leading light  of  separatist leadership leading the current agitation for a “goal” told J K News Today’s Editor Binoo Joshi  in an exclusive interview on  Wednesday that  separatists were all for dialogue but the  dialogue  without acknowledgement of the hard realities of Kashmir would lead nowhere.

In  his  first-ever interview  in over six months , Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is  in the   frontline  facing all bricks and bouquets  of  his ways of leading the agitation , today said that nothing short of  the acknowledgement of realism would help  in resolving the contentious Kashmir issue. He asked New Delhi to feel what is happening on the ground .  “It is the voice of the people, we are just articulating it ,” he said emphatically and ruled out the perception that he or the separatist  leadership were opposed to the dialogue .

 Why shutdowns are being used as a tool to reinforce your point if the dialogue can  lead you to the path  of  solution?

Geelani : It needs to be understood that  these shutdowns which were observed by the people all across Jammu and Kashmir  were  chosen by the  people themselves. We just gave a direction. It was  a bubbling lava of the emotions that erupted after July 8  ( the day Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen Commander  Burhan Wani was killed). The  whole Valley was awash with it,, we just channelized it , gave a direction and that is where our and the peoples’ integral relationship  merges  for the cause for a goal of self determination . There are U N resolutions, we are asking for our rights , nothing else.

What do you think Delhi should do to  make the dialogue meaningful in your  view?

Geelani:  The only requirement is that the Government of India should see, feel and realize the hard reality in Kashmir. It should hear the voice of the people, what they want . Once that hard reality – that Kashmir is a dispute- the things would  start moving in direction.  This  drum beat of “ Kashmir an integral part” has long drowned under the  echoes of Kashmiri sentiments by the people of all age groups- from children to elderly, men, women  alike. The Government of India’s offers of unconditional talks are not in fact unconditional. They (GOI) should accept the fact that a portion of Kashmir is with Pakistan. We are ready for talks if Government of India accepts that Kashmir is a dispute and accept other hard realities associated with it.



Do you think this is the only way out?

Geelani : Yes .  How many times bilateral dialogue and  agreements have been signed between Delhi and Islamabad , and , Delhi and Srinagar. What happened . Has the problem been solved. It remains  where it was .  There is resentment against the Delhi rule  via military oppression and via the puppet governments.

It is a matter of record that there are more than 150 instances of dialogue  on Kashmir , but why isn’t  the problem getting resolved. Delhi should wake up to realities  and  work accordingly. The footfalls of the  military boots will  only inflame the passions further.

 Are you hopeful that the  sufferings of the people  would help you to achieve your goal?

Geelani: Well, there is no struggle without some amount of suffering. The people always suffer for the larger goal. Kashmiris have shown that they have the courage to do so. These over five-months should  be more than sufficient  proof of our determination. These demonstrations by people are outcome of their strong emotion.  We are continuing and will continue till our “ maksad” ( goal) is achieved. In thee five months people have suffered but they have given expression to their anger against barbarism and imperialism of governments. People come out in thousands to protests despite killing of about 100 demonstrators, 250 affected by pellets, thousands injured and thousands behind bars.