AFSPA can't change Kashmir narrative: Geelani

AFSPA can't change Kashmir narrative: Geelani

By declaring that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would not be withdrawn or amended, New Delhi “has betrayed its nervousness to facing Kashmiri resistance”, Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said on Wednesday.

Union minister of state for home Hansraj Gangaram told Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the government of India had no plans to withdraw the controversial law which gives sweeping powers to armed forces in J&K. Human rights organisations have repeatedly pointed out how the law has been misused to cover human rights abuses. 

“No power on earth or draconian laws like AFSPA can change the Kashmir narrative. AFSPA and PSA are offshoots of the unresolved Kashmir problem. The dictatorial rule, imposition of draconian laws and continuation of forced control reflect the acceptance of defeat by the authorities in New Delhi,” Geelani said in a statement.

The statement, quoting Geelani, said Indian rulers, instead of facing people’s peaceful and political movement and its leadership on the political turf in Jammu Kashmir, have been resorting to “military might and other coercive measures to suppress their genuine aspiration”.  

“Instead of accepting the hard realities about Kashmir issue, they are resorting to barbarism, loot, plunder, genocide, rapes and through its military might to suppress the genuine aspirations of subjugated people of the state,” the statement reads. 

He said New Delhi has added “black and barbaric chapter in history while denying the fundamental rights of people of Jammu Kashmir”.

“For the past 30 years, India and its local stooges have been denying political space, muzzling genuine voices and curbing peaceful activities of the pro-resistance resistance leaders and their activists,” the statement said. 

“The ongoing resistance movement has entered the decisive phase. People’s bravery, valour, high spirits and commitment with the freedom movement is highly laudable.  How long will New Delhi declare Kashmir as disturbed area and carry out all coercive measures to prevent people from their pursuing their fundamental right of freedom,” Geelani said.

 “History is enough to prove that rightful resistance movements have never failed,” the statement said.