Repeal AFSPA in Kashmir: Basharat Peer

Writer Basharat Peer wanted the Centre to repeal AFSPA in Kashmir as a first step towards moving foward in finding a solution to crisis in that state.

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 15:17 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Basharat Peer, writer from
Kashmir who penned `Curfewed Night`, which won the Crossword Book Award for English Non-fiction in 2009, on Saturday wanted the Centre to repeal AFSPA in Kashmir as a first step towards moving foward in finding a solution to crisis in that state.

`Let there be a political will to de-militarise Kashmir and the Act is an infringement into rights of individuals` Peer, said during a discussion on his book at the on-going Hay Feswtival here.

The often reference of `people to people` approach to resolve the issue was not going to yield any result, he said.
Peer, also a journalist, said that Centre appointed three member interlocutors would not able to tackle the Jammu and Kashmir issue. “They are good professionals, but I do not
think, they have the political acumen to deal with vexed issue
like Kashmir”. “What is happening in Kashmir is not good”, he said.

Answering the role of Pakistan in Kashmir, Peer said Pakistan has no say in Kashmir. “Their stategy using militans have backfired on them”, he said. India is better positioned
in resoling the issue, he added.

To a question about a solution, Peer said the idea of Indepenent Territoiral should be given a push forward.

Peer also said that separatist in Kashmir also did not have imagination and a clear cut guidelines of what they actually want.
Referring to the book, he said it was the portrait of some
of the young boys protesting in Kashmir and all the events
could be corroborated with facts. “It is not an imagination”, he said.

Peer said the book, published in 2008 was an outcome of talks, discussions and interview he had with people in Kashmir.

A session on environmental issues, to improve understanding and inspire positive actions to mitigate the effects of climate change was held as part of the festival.

A talk with Jnapith Award winner and Malayalam poet and lyricist ONV Kurup with K Satchidanandan, poet of national and international repute, was the another major attration of the day.

News magazine The Week is hosting the event, as its
main sponsor at the sprawling Kanakakunnu place grounds.

About 50 authors, thinkers and performers from the country and across the world are participating in the event, an annual get-together.

PTI