Yasin Malik urges Vajpayee to support peace process


Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik has urged former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to support the ongoing India-Pakistan peace process and focus on the permanent resolution of the Kashmir issue.

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The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief has written a letter asking Vajpayee to lend support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in seizing the opportunity to move forward boldly and creatively (on Kashmir issue).

“When I met Prime Minister Singh, I re-emphasised the recommendation of Kashmiris’ representation and inclusion in the peace process.

“I was pleased with the response from the prime minister. We cannot even think to exclude the Kashmiris from the peace process,” Malik said.

While praising and crediting Vajpayee for initiating the peace process between India and Pakistan, Malik expressed sadness over what he called “the vitriolic disruption of the Rajya Sabha proceedings by Jaswant Singh calling in question the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s moves on the peace process and raising alarms about its direction”.

The pro-independence leader also took exception to the letter for Manmohan Singh by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani — in which Advani raised doubts and disapproved of the government’s approach towards resolving Kashmir through the present peace process.

Referring to the divergent approach of the BJP leaders to the peace process, Malik told Vajpayee, “The peace process is your baby and you cannot call it an illegitimate child.”

The JKLF missive to Vajpayee is seen as part a proactive campaign started by Malik to mount pressure on India and Pakistan for the direct involvement of Kashmiris in the peace parleys, at a time when Islamabad has indicated that an agreement on Kashmir was “expected soon”.