Strong mandate big opportunity for Modi to resolve Kashmir: Mirwaiz

Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said the strong mandate given to Bhartiya Janata Party by the people of India must be cashed as a big opportunity by Prime Minister NarendraModi to resolve Kashmir issue which is consuming human lives on daily basis.

He said if the new dispensation in New Delhi led by PM Modi would revive the process initiated the former Prime Ministers AtalBihari Vajpayee and DrManmohan Singh on Kashmir, Hurriyat would extend its all possible support so that a “permanent and dignified solution is found to the vexed issue.” Mirwaiz said key to the development and peace in South Asia lies in the resolution of the Kashmir issue that is taking a dangerous turn with each passing day.

“This strong mandate should be used as a “big opportunity” to resolve the Kashmir issue forever,” Mirwaiz said addressing a mammoth gathering at Jamia Masjid Srinagar on Jumat-ul-Vida (last Friday of Ramadhan).

Mirwaiz said: “I believe that Kashmir issue cannot be resolved militarily or through confrontation but by dialogue and deliberations. Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s repeated offer of dialogue on all issues between India and Pakistan including Kashmir should be seriously considered by the new dispensation in New Delhi as the way forward.”

Mirwaiz said today all Kashmiris irrespective of their organisational affiliations are speaking in one voice about the urgent need for resolution of the conflict.

“So it is an opportune time to initiate political process which enables and facilitates conflict resolution.”

Mirwaiz said as in the past Hurriyat is willing to support every such initiative which aims at peaceful resolution of the dispute keeping in view the sentiments and aspirations of the people of Kashmir who are the main stakeholders.

“During our engagement with former PM’s Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh and after visiting Pakistan, Hurriyat had put forward certain substantial measures to both India and Pakistan as precursor to serious negotiations,” Mirwaiz said. “Both countries at that time had agreed to implementing these steps to prepare ground for serious negotiations, it included revocation of the AFSPA and other black laws, gradual demilitarization, prisoner release and initiation of a process to narrow differences between the parties to the dispute.” He said these measures hold true even today when the situation has only further deteriorated.

He said if these steps are initiated by both sides it will bring relief to people of Kashmir and an atmosphere for sincere engagement among all stakeholders will be created for a permanent resolution.

Mirwaiz said each day “our youngsters are killed in this unresolved conflict which has consumed lakhs of lives.”

“South Kashmir has been turned into a permanent battleground, an expanding graveyard of our young, as we continue to shoulder the dead daily. We want this long cycle of killings and violence to end,” the Kashmir’s chief cleric said. “We don’t want to see our youngsters, or an Indian or Pakistani soldier die in this conflict. India and Pakistan have to acknowledge and address the unresolved political problem in Kashmir.”

He said that without addressing the question of Kashmir, there will be repeated returns to “perilous states of war as we recently witnessed.”

“For that it is imperative that democratic processes are invoked and restored by New Delhi and the policy of repression and military approach are done away with,” he said. “One measure for doing so is the release of all political prisoners including Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, AsiyaAndrabi, QasimFaktoo and others before the Eid.”

As the Jumat-ul-Vida was observed as Youm-e-Qudus to express solidarity with the people of Palestine, and Youm-e-Kashmir, soon after the culmination of congregational prayers, protests were held outside the Jamia Masjid. The protestors were shouting “free-Palestine” and “resolve Kashmir issue” slogans. Earlier, a resolution framed by the separatist leadership was also passed unanimously. The resolution questioned the silence of international community over present situation prevailing in Kashmir and urged it to build pressure on New Delhi to resolve the Kashmir issue in its historic perspective. The resolution also demanded the immediate release of all Kashmiri political prisoners languishing in various prisons including the separatist leaders booked by NIA and Enforcement Directorate.