Hurriyat (M) starts consultation with separatists, civil society
Srinagar, Jan 15: In a bid to garner support for joint resistance against ‘settlement’ of West Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday formed a two-member committee, for the purpose.
The Hurriyat (M) move comes in the backdrop of recommendations made by the Indian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs to grant Jammu & Kashmir Permanent Resident (State Subject) Status to refugees from erstwhile West Pakistan. The issue has snowballed into a major controversy in Kashmir with separatist leaders terming it as a move to change J&K’s demography.
Mirwaiz had recently announced that the conglomerate will consult other separatist parties, legal fraternity and members of civil society to “formulate a united, effective and sustained effort in defense of J&K’s Muslim-majority status.”
“On the instructions of Mirwaiz, a two-member committee comprising senior representatives of the conglomerate has been formed. The committee has started consultations with various separatist groups, legal experts and civil society members. It has been tasked to seek opinion and suggestions of other pro-freedom leaders besides representatives of civil society and legal experts for devising a joint comprehensive strategy against the settlement of West Pakistan refugees,” a senior Hurriyat (M) leader said.
Mirwaiz has maintained that “this is not a communal issue or an issue that is so-called Jammu versus Kashmir.”
“The conglomerate representatives will also consult civil society in Jammu. After the consultation process in over, the Committee will brief Mirwaiz. On the basis of inputs received by the Committee, the joint strategy against the settlement of West Pakistan refugees will be finalized,” the leader said.
The Hurriyat (M) Chairman termed the issue as “serious.” “The objective of the settlement of non-state subjects is to subvert the inalienable right of self-determination of people of J&K and forcible integration and assimilation of the internationally-disputed state of J&K. We cannot afford to remain silent over the moves to change demography of Jammu and Kashmir and identity of its people. The conglomerate believes that all pro-freedom parties and people of all three divisions of the state have to unite and foil the Government of India’s attempts to permanently settle non-state subjects in the state,” Mirwaiz said. “We are committed to resist any move aimed to violate, dilute or undermine the legal rights of the permanent residents of the state.”