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Musharraf is in a state of depression: Geelani

December 07, 2006 14:41 IST
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Firebrand separatist leader and breakaway Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Thursday came down heavily on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for floating new proposals on Kashmir everyday, saying the military ruler has "lost self confidence" and is in a "state of mental depression".

Addressing a news conference in Srinagar, Geelani rejected outright Musharraf's four-point solution to the vexed Kashmir issue.

"After 9/11, there is a change in the foreign policy of Pakistan's military regime. The Pakistani military ruler is not only scared of the US, but also of India's growing economy and the strength of armed forces. He (Musharraf) has lost self-confidence and is in a state of mental depression. That is why, he is coming up with new proposals and ideas on the Kashmir resolution everyday," he said.

Geelani said the Pakistan president's decision to ally with the US after 9/11 was a result of that "loss of self-confidence".

Geelani said the recent proposals of Musharraf were his own and did not have the sanction of the Pakistan Cabinet, the opposition parties and the people of the country.

"Even the Pakistan Foreign Office later said that there is no change in the country's stand on Kashmir," he added. The hardliner said there was a "dispute within" Musharraf over his foreign policy. "That is the reason why all his decisions within the country and on Kashmir have proved to be failures," he added.

In an interview to NDTV, Musharraf had said his country was prepared to give up its claim to Jammu and Kashmir if India reciprocates and approves self-governance for the strife-torn state.

"Compromise inherently means stepping back by both sides. Both sides have to give up their positions and step back. If one of us is not prepared to step back, we will not reach a solution," Musharraf had said.

Musharraf said Pakistan supports a four-point solution that would give the region self-governance or autonomy, maintain Jammu and Kashmir's borders, produce a withdrawal of troops and create a mechanism for running the territory between India, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

"We are at the moment, both India and Pakistan, on the same position as we were since 1948. We both ought to be prepared to give up all that we have been saying. Pakistan will change its stance in the event India leaves its stated position also," he added.

The Pakistan president said self-governance would not be a first step toward independence for Jammu and Kashmir.

"We are against independence. And so is India," he added.

Geelani, however, thanked Pakistan for its continued moral, diplomatic and political support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed the hope that Islamabad would never change its basic policy on the long-festering issue.

"Let me tell you. Ours is an indigenous struggle for freedom," he said.

"And even if those presently at the helm of affairs in Pakistan stop supporting us, we will continue with our struggle in a more determined and sustained manner," he added.

The firebrand leader reiterated that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would continue with their fight for seeking the right to self-determination to decide their "fate and future".

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