SRINAGAR: An independent legislator of Jammu and Kashmir, Er Sheikh Abdur Rashid, on Thursday said he was ready to quit assembly seat and join separatist Hurriyat Conference for the larger “Kashmir cause”.
“I am ready to join Hurriyat Conference for the larger Kashmir cause of right to self determination,” Rashid, who is MLA Langate, told reporters today.
He was referring to the statement of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani in which he had asked mainstream politicians to join Hurriyat to help resolve the Kashmir issue.
“I voluntarily offer to consider the appeal of Geelani and am ready to join Hurriyat. It is not time to blame each other but work for resolution of Kashmir dispute and stop New Delhi from changing the disputed nature of J&K,” said Rashid, who heads a party, Awami Ittihad Party (AIP).
He said there was no option for leaders of J&K but to unite to present a joint front against New Delhi’s policies on Kashmir.
The MLA disclosed that he has met Geelani at least nine times in last eight years. “I have met him at his at Hyerpora residence and he has acknowledged that his and my thoughts are similar but approach is different,” he said.
Rashid was for third time elected to J&K Assembly from Langate constituency in Kupwara in 2014 state assembly elections.
He said his party spokesman went to moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s residence to meet him to decide “how to evolve a common ground which can pave way for us working with Hurriyat. However, my party leader was not allowed to meet Mirwaiz by the policemen deployed outside his residence”.
The MLA said he has also contacted Geelani’s office and sought time for meeting with the hardline separatist leader.
“I would like to tell Geelani that if you have a roadmap, which can be strengthened by my joining Hurriyat, then I am ready to make any sacrifice including giving up by Assembly seat,” Rashid said.
He said if Geelani had some concrete roadmap to represent Kashmiris in a more compact manner then he is ready to quit from Assembly seat.
Rashid said he is not making the offer under any duress or pressure.
The MLA suggested that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah of National Conference should also evolve a broad-based consensus on key issues including Article 370 and Article 35-A.
“If the two parties (PDP and National Conference) cannot support Hurriyat demand for right to self determination, but the Hurriyat should take them into confidence for safeguarding Article 370 and Article 35-A. Our fight is very difficult. It cannot be fought individually by Farooq, Mehbooba, Geelani, Mirwaiz or Mohammad Yasin Malik or me. We have to join hands to fight New Delhi,” he added.