Return to your homeland: Geelani tells migrant Pandits
Quotes Mahabarata, Says Kashmir struggle Based On Principles
Vesu (Kulgam), Apr 17: The Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani Sunday reiterated that the Kashmiri migrant Pandits were an inseparable part of his body and made a passionate appeal to them to return to their homeland and live in harmony with the Muslim brothers and sisters.
Addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Pandits at Migrant Pandit’s colony in this south Kashmir district, Geelani assured them of complete protection if they return “You are a part of our body. I assure you that you will be fully protected. We will make sure that no harm is done to your lives and property,” Geelani told the Pandits.
He rejected the idea of setting up “safety zones” for them. “This gives a sense of divide between the Muslims and the Hindus,” Geelani said. “When I was released after two years from jail in 1992, I made it clear that the Pandit brothers are a part of our great heritage and we have to live in coexistence under all circumstances. I reject the idea of creating safe zones for the Pandit community. This gives a sense of divide between the two communities.”
Geelani told the gathering that “you must appeal to the government to allow you to return to your original places in villages, towns and cities. We have centuries old traditions of sharing each others’ joys and sorrows. Those traditions are dear to us and have to be reestablished. We have to strengthen our bonds.”
Geelani alleged that it is the state government that, for its own interest, wants to divide the Kashmiri nation on the basis of religion. “The divide and rule is its well thought out policy. I don’t want you to put up in the separate colonies in the name of safe zones where your privacy is at stake. With the help of God and on behalf of the 90 percent Muslim majority in Kashmir, I assure you that your temples, lives, property and honor would be protected by us as you return to your original homes,” he told the members of the Pandit community. “You are not the migrants but the real citizens of this land. None of you will face any harm from your Muslim brothers. I assure you that.”
Referring to Holy Quran, Geelani said: “Allah does not discriminate between human beings on the basis of religion, caste, color, creed, wealth or poverty, rural or urban origin. Every individual is a human being first and the caste is only for his identification. To be a good human being one must have a good character,” Geelani said.
Asserting that the freedom struggle of Kashmir was based on principles, Geelani said: “Our fight with India is not because it is a Hindu majority country. It is the battle of principles. We are fighting for our rights and the promises that were made to us must be kept.”
He said peace cannot be achieved at gunpoint, but had to be established through justice alone.
“On one hand government talks of peace and at the same time books minors under the Public Safety Act and detains them in Jammu jails,” he said
He said the people of Kashmir are not being provided a space to even peacefully raise their voice against “the state oppression.” “Since 2010 I have been confined to my house by the police and it has been only last Friday that I was allowed to offer Friday prayers in a local Masjid,” Geelani said.
He said history was testimony to the fact that truth has always prevailed in its battle with might. He urged the Pandit community to feel the pain of their Muslim brethren.
“Our peaceful protests are showered with bullets. The forces do not even spare 10-year-old. We are not carrying weapons in our hands but are peacefully demanding our rights like India did when it was under the British occupation,” Geelani said. “The troops have occupied more than 28 lakh kanals of land including that of forests in Kashmir which is not only the property of Kashmiri Muslims but Pandits too. Our natural resources are being exploited. The government and the forces are looting the green gold. The power that we generate is being sold outside while we are being denied even our own share.”
Geelani said that even the temples are now in the custody of non-state subjects instead of the Kashmiri Pandits.
Earlier, National Youth president of Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) and the patron of the Kashmir Pandit Amity Council, Sanjay Saraf accorded a warm welcome to the veteran leader.
“Geelani sahib is the only leader who always advocates return of Kashmiri Pandits. The Pandits who are here have not returned on the assurances of state government but only because of the assurance of Geelani sahib and majority community,” Saraf said.
Taking out a leaf from the Mahabharata, Geelani narrated the famous conversation between Arjuna and Lord Krishna when Pandavas were taking on the Kaurvas.
“When Arjuna faltered in the fight against Kaurvas, Maharaj Krishna told him that it was a battle based on principles. You have to fight even own brothers for principles,” Geelani said while asserting that his struggle was based on principles.
When Geelani left the camp, the villagers gathered around him shouting pro-freedom slogans and forced him to lead the Zuhar prayers in the local Jamia. After the prayers Geelani addressed the people outside the mosque too.
Later, Syed Ali Shah Geelani visited another migrant camp at Mattan in Islamabad (Anantnag) district where he too was accorded a warm welcome. He interacted with many Pandit youth and assured them full protection.
Geelani also visited the houses of some of the youth of Islamabad (Anantnag) town who were killed in the last year’s summer unrest. He visited the houses of Sujat-ul-Islam, Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khanday, Irshad Ahmad Latoo, Irshad Parray, Noor-ul-Amin Dagga, Bilal Najar and Rajoo Nath. The youth who had gathered outside shouted pro-freedom and pro-Geelani slogans. He was also accompanied by the party spokesperson, Ayaz Akbar.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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