‘CBMs agents of change, not solution to problem’

RK Chief Editor delivers lecture at CUK

IRFAN RASHID

Srinagar:

Senior journalist and Editor-in-chief, Rising Kashmir, Dr Shujaat Bukhari today said Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were agents of change and never solution to the problem.”
“CBMs lead break myths and leads to better understanding of situation. But unfortunately no diplomatic follow up has been carried out,” Dr Bukhari.
While delivering a guest lecture on topic tiled as ‘Indo- Pak relations’, at Department of Politics and Governance, Central University of Kashmir, Bukhari said “as state subjects, Kashmiris have much suffered from the past 25 years and there has to be a remedy now.”
“Kashmir is a political question and not religious one even we have fought against co-religious outsiders in 1586 because we want to have distinct identity but we have been failed by our leadership. It is some vested interests who don’t want peace process…may be within the state or outsider,” Dr Shujaat Bukhari said.
Putting to light the role played by former Pakistan President Parvez Musharaf, he said: “He played a commendable role in highlighting Kashmir issue on international level. He was keen to do something different. But certain quarters expressed anguish and referred to them as diversionary tactics.”
Stating that the peace process started in 2003 by Mushraf was a “welcome step” towards larger solution.
 “When Cross LOC bus was started in 2005 followed by Cross LOC Trade in 2008. These measures help to create conducive atmosphere,” he said. “Despite a long process to obtain permission to board Cross LOC bus, you won’t believe 24000 people have travelled,” he said, adding “It has been a success except few times when it was suspended. As no Passport is needed to travel in cross LOC bus and so the sovereignty of two countries doesn’t come in between.” On LOC Trade, he said: “Despite Cross LOC trade being a failure, it touched 300 crore but people come and complain their money is grabbed by other side that they don’t know by face except phone.”
Discussing the role of few political groups, he said: “Some quarters’ saw these CBMs with suspicion and today these leaders are said about their role in these 25 years has been nothing except blood bath. But few quarters did good job by going onboard with Musharaf’s 4 point formula. As there is no overnight solution as it is a process and not event which takes long time.”
Bukhari has been one of the pioneers in Kashmir Initiative group that has got members from both sides of the border. He said that the nucleus of conflict between India and Pakistan is Kashmir. But at least they can solve lesser magnitude issues like Siachin.  “Unfortunately J&K is treated as law and order problem and it is a threatening issue which may open window for other things.”
Talking about the stand of Pakistan towards Kashmir, he said: “After inviting Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief to India, India called off foreign secretary level talks on trivial issue. Pakistan has also toughened its stand vis a vis Kashmir. Even Pakistan Army revealed how Indian intelligence has been supporting militancy in Pakistan.” He said that absence of engagement is going to create more problems and it is very important for India and Pakistan to have political engagement.
Encouraging the political science students, Bukhari said: “You are in an important subject that can shape the destination of nations and decides future of people as I also had this as my subject in graduation.”
Prof Noor Ahmad Baba, Head of the Department, said: “Every problem has a complex facet. There are no easy solution processes.”
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