LAHORE - People of Occupied Kashmir started smelling the rat of a secret deal between the two countries when the Pakistan government expressed its keenness to discuss Siachen and Sir Creek with India ignoring the main Kashmir dispute, a senior Kashmiri leader said on Sunday.

Syed Ali Geelani, Chairman of his faction of the All Parties Hurriyet Conference, said in an interview to Nawa-i-Waqt via phone from Srinagar that both countries were trying to trivialise the Kashmir issue into a ‘border dispute’.

“Pakistan should persuade the OIC to pass frequent resolutions on Kashmir. And if India is still reluctant to implement the UN resolutions, Pakistan should take the matter to the International Court of Justice,” he proposed.

This is the first time that a Kashmiri leader has come up with such an idea.

Disapproving the Kashmir policies of military as well as civil governments in Pakistan, the APHC chief alleged that they had been trying to undermine the Kashmir dispute. However, he said, Pakistan should not forget that the Kashmiri people who had been keeping the dispute alive through their unparalleled sacrifices of 65 years would not let the matter put on the backburner.

According to him, the four-point formula given by Gen Musharraf during his tenure had caused a serious setback to the Kashmir cause.

Geelani regretted that the PML-N government was over-enthusiastic to improve ties with India, forgetting that the Kashmir policy of all parties, no matter what their ideology, was the same. He recalled that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had invited his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to his swearing-in ceremony (although he did not attend), and then recently sent his brother Shahbaz Sharif to India with goodwill message.

The APHC chairman said the state of national unity in Pakistan was not as good as it should be. In his opinion all the people should talk of Pakistan, but it was deplorable that Urdu and Sindhi-speaking people were promoting their respective cultures.

Without naming Abdul Qader Mollah, the APHC chairman said the pro-Pakistan elements were being hanged in Bangladesh, but the Pakistan government was calling it an internal problem of that country.

He was of the view that Pakistan would never attain autarky unless its rulers shunned their love for dollars. Similarly, he said, unless capitalists and feudal changed their thinking, people belonging to various nationalities would continue raising demands for separate provinces/states.

He supported the idea of talks with the Taliban for the sake of peace in the country.