London, May 15: Claiming to be founder members of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), the erstwhile former members formed the Kashmir National Party in London on Thursday, and accused the JKLF leadership of having compromised the front's ideology by making "private deals with secret agencies of India and Pakistan".
Dr. Choudhry along with Zubair Ansari, Masoom Ansari, Ahesan Ansari, Nazam Bhatti and Aslam Mirza, recalled that they actively helped in establishment of the JKLF in 1977 in Birmingham.
Dr Shabir Choudhry, the coordinator of the new party-Kashmir National Party, said the JKLF was set up at a time when politics of Kashmiri nationalism was not in fashion and talk of an independent Kashmir was a taboo word.
"Kashmiri struggle at that time was not commercialised. We could have achieved our most cherished goal of unification and freedom, but once again we were let down by leadership which had compromised the JKLF ideology and made private deals with secret agencies of India and Pakistan," he added.
Dr. Choudhry further said that as a result of these "secret deals with secret agencies our national struggle was communalised, our struggle was hijacked and presented as a 'Jihad' which not only deprived us of international support, but also provided a propaganda stick in the hands of India government to link it with Islamic fundamentalists."
"To the outside world it appeared as a 'proxy war', planned and controlled by Pakistani agencies in which Muslim sentiments were used to protect and advance what was perceived as 'national interest' of Pakistan, but these policies have proved a disaster for Pakistan because those Jihadi outfits are now fighting 'Jihad' against Pakistan," he added.
Pointing out that the people of J-K had suffered immensely because of the policies of both India and Pakistan, Dr, Choudhry said: "KNP wants to make it clear to all that the Kashmir dispute is not a religious issue; and nor is it a territorial dispute which should be settled by mutual agreement of India and Pakistan."
Dr. Choudhry demanded that until such time that the final status of J-K is determined, a democratic and representative government in Gilgit and Baltistan with full powers to serve all social, economic and political needs of the local people should be set up without any delay.
KNP strongly believes that violence is not the way forward. Use of gun has added to our problems. Politics of violence, intimidation and communalism may be beneficial to some, but it is not favour of the Kashmiri people.
Those present at the press conference included: Nazam Bhatti, Abbas Butt, Sarwar Hussain, Asim Mirza, Ehsan Ul Haq Ansari, Aslam Mirza, Masoom Ansari and Nawaz Majid.