By Irtif Lone
Yasin Malik leads the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a secular separatist movement. Yasin Malik renounced violence and is treading the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi to achieve a united Kashmir independent from both Pakistan and India. Yasin strongly supports the return of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits. Malik launched Safar-e-Azadi (March for Freedom) where he journeyed across Jammu and Kashmir collecting 1.5 million signatures supporting an Independent Kashmir. He later presented these signatures to the President of India.
What is your take on Kashmir issue?
Independent and sovereign Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir which existed on 15th August, 1947.
Is there any example in the world that can be emulated to achieve this?
It is only through peoples revolution that nations get their freedom and the big empires get destroyed.
In the USSR when more than 1 million people sat for more than 16 days, Gorbochov decided the breakup of USSR.
We have the example of Romanian people and example of Iranian revolution.
So, I think the peoples revolution is more than 100 atom bombs.
Do you think that a solution needs to be found or do you consider that a solution is already there and only needs to be implemented?
I think the solution is already there. Before the birth of Pakistan and independence of India, Kashmir existed as an independent state. Whatever genuine concerns India and Pakistan have, Kashmiri people need to accommodate that.
Some people are of the opinion that Kashmir cannot survive as an Independent Nation. They point to military and defense issues?
There are so many countries in the world without defense. We do not need to fight our neighbors. We want cordial relations with all our neighboring countries. When the country like Nepal can survive between India and China, why not Kashmir?
Has your party ever worked on the blue print of Independent Kashmir’s Economy?
Why it is not made public?
It was made public in 1995, now we are in the process of upgrading it. I think it will be published in one or two months.
Jammu and Ladakh, for instance, might want to stay with India. What do you say to that?
Even in referendum if people of Jammu and Ladakh have a different thinking. We cannot force them to change their thinking. But certainly it will hurt me personally because we do not want division of state on communal lines. It won’t be good for south Asian politics
What are your thoughts on Pakistan administered Kashmir?
Both the parts of Kashmir are disputed. Even Pakistan government claims, PaK is disputed.
What about the current resurgence of the people’s movement? What made people take the matter into their own hands and lead themselves?
It happens when cycle gets complete. In 1990, same age group was on the streets. After 18 years the next generation has taken it in their hands. I mentioned this in March in India and in June in Pakistan. India and Pakistan are pushing Kashmir to worst situation than 1990.
Pakistan has been facing various internal problems, what effect does it have on the Kashmir Issue?
Pakistan is a party to Kashmir Dispute. The political instability will definitely affect Kashmir. We want stable Pakistan with political stability so that the Kashmir Issue will be solved as soon as possible.
The entire Pro Freedom leadership has come under one umbrella, but do you see a common cause which they are fighting for?
See, it is the alliance of different school of thoughts with different ideologies. There are people who want to go with Pakistan but we stand for freedom and independence.
There is only one purpose where we stand together: let the people decide whether they want to go to India, Pakistan or Independence. Let’s follow peoples verdict.