PEACEFUL PROTESTS TO CONTINUE: MIRWAIZ
Asks Mainstream Parties To Eschew Ballot Politics;‘Stone-Pelting Reaction To Oppression’
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, July 3: The chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday announced that peaceful protests will continue unless the troopers were not shifted out of the civilian areas across the Valley.
Mirwaiz justified the ongoing protests saying it was manifestation for political resolution of the long-standing Kashmir problem and not against any religion “as is being projected by some new channels and communal elements.”
The Hurriyat chief also warned of “harsher reaction” from people if the troopers and police continue to use force to quell the peaceful protests saying the Government will be responsible for its consequences. He said the movement has now passed on to new generation and they would carry it forward.
“Our youth are being killed by troopers and cops with impunity. Ironically 11youth were killed since June 11. This is a dangerous trend. We feel that Jammu and Kashmir has turned into a police state and there is complete lawlessness,” Mirwaiz told a press conference, soon after the police lifted siege at his Nigeen residence.
“The troopers in the camps in city and towns were becoming source of killings. Seven lakh troopers have turned the Valley into a garrison. By trying to suppress the freedom movement by force, New Delhi has already lost Kashmir. I make a fervent appeal to people to stage peaceful protests until the camps of troopers are not shifted from towns and other inhabited areas,” he said.
ON SITUATION, STONE PELTING
Mirwaiz defended the stone pelting as a reaction to snatching of right to protest peacefully against the killings. “The youth are forced to pelt stones when their peaceful protests are quelled by use of disproportionate force. If any force is used to sabotage the peaceful protests, the reaction from people will be harsher and Government will be solely responsible for its consequences,” he said.
He castigated the Home Minister, P Chidambaram over his remarks that the stone pelting in Kashmir was backed by Laskhar-e-Toiba and Pakistan. “Youth have taken over the baton of freedom and there is sheer sentiment on the streets. Our youth are being labelled as miscreants, gangsters to hoodwink the people of India about the ground realities in Kashmir and justify their unabated killings. It is high time for people of India to know the truth and understand that our movement is indigenous and for a just cause,” he said.
He alleged that over 400 youth have been arrested during the crackdown on protesters in past over a fortnight and demanded their immediate release.
Mirwaiz said since the past two years, there have been negligible attacks on the troopers. “But bullets are being sprayed on our peaceful processions. I believe that execution of innocent Kashmiris is going on according to a conspiracy hatched by New Delhi to crush our peaceful movement. Bullets can’t be answer to stones,” he said.
ON MAINSTREAM PARTIES
Mirwaiz accused the state Government of failing to reign in troopers and protect the lives of people. “There is no accountability and the troopers and police have spread a reign of terror. But we don’t want to score a point over any mainstream party and are only concerned over the innocent killings,’ he said.
He said the Hurriyat will convene all party meet to press for resolution of Kashmir.
“If the mainstream parties are concerned and serious over the sufferings of people, they should join the conference and leave the assembly politics aside,” he said. However, he maintained that no mainstream party has the stake or power to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
ON KASHMIR DISPUTE
Mirwaiz said Kashmir dispute can only be resolved through dialogue. “No election, administrative changes or economic packages can be substitute to the right of self-determination of Kashmiris. It is well established that Kashmir is not a military problem. This has been acknowledged by the India Army Chief also,” he said.
The Hurriyat chief maintained that he was not averse to talks with New Delhi if it released the political prisoners, undertake demilitarization and revoke the special powers to troopers.
He appealed the Indian mainstream political parties “to come out of rhetoric shell” and lend support to resolution of the dispute. “New Delhi should understand the fact that it can’t hold Kashmir by force for long. It will be in India’s national interest to resolve the dispute once for all given the amount of money it is pumping on defence expenditure in Kashmir,” he said.
He said India and Pakistan should discuss the Kashmir dispute on priority during the Foreign Secretary-level talks. “Other issues including water sharing, trade links can be discussed later,” he said.
Mirwaiz said he was making efforts to forge unity among the Hurriyat factions. “People want the unity among the pro-freedom camp. They want to see a united leadership. I want to maintain that it is not a leadership issue but giving right direction to the movement and taking it to logical conclusion. For larger interests of the movement, I have been trying to forge unity and I hope it will soon bear fruit,” he said.
However, he expressed resentment over what he said irresponsible statement by some leaders of pro-freedom camp. Referring to the statement of Dukhtaran-e-Millat chairperson, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, in which she had asked him to clarify on the comments of Hurriyat (M) executive member, Moulana Abass Ansari, Mirwaiz termed it “highly irresponsible.”
Pertinently, Moulana Abass had stated that PDP was backing stone pelting. Aasiya had given an ultimatum of 24 hours to Mirwaiz to clarify the conglomerate’s position.
“I want to maintain that if any member or leader of the Hurriyat gives any statement, it will be in his individual capacity. Only I and the Hurriyat spokesman are empowered to make statement on behalf of the conglomerate,” he said.
ON AMARNATH YATRA
Mirwaiz said Amarnath pilgrims were guests of Kashmiris. “But some media channels are trying to give a communal twist to the prevailing situation in Kashmir .They are trying to give it a communal colour and fan communal tension. Some experts on news TV program are also projecting it as Hindu India versus Muslim Kashmir. Since ages Kashmir have been and will facilitate the smooth Yatra,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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