‘Withdrawal of security won’t stop us from raising Kashmir issue’
Amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan, following Lethpora car-bomb attack on a CRPF convoy last week, chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday cautioned that war wasn’t an option and only a sustained dialogue can resolve Kashmir issue.
He urged people of India to understand ground situation in Kashmir, saying people of the Valley were not fighting for any economic package or developmental schemes but a “legitimate birth right of right to self determination”.
In his Friday sermon at historic Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz said "New Delhi must understand that the talk about waging war against Pakistan would lead to destruction in entire sub-continent, as both the countries were nuclear powers."
“Kashmiris don’t support war between India and Pakistan but a resolution of the dispute by peaceful means. History is witness that many nations even after fighting wars, had to sit on a negotiation table to hammer out a solution of the issues,” said Mirwaiz whose security cover was recently withdrawn by the state government, following the deadly Lethpora attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed.
The Valley’s head priest said soon after the attack, the resistance leadership had stated that “every human life was precious, but at the same time maintained that Kashmiri people were being killed and booked under PSA on regular basis”.
“Isn’t Kashmir a political and human issue? Aren’t Kashmiri youth being pushed to wall and left with no choice other than to pick up arms?” Mirwaiz asked.
Mirwaiz, who is part of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), said he has time and again stated that Kashmir can’t be solved militarily but politically. He took a dig at present dispensation at New Delhi for its “iron fist policy” on Kashmir and shelving the path followed by former Prime Ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmmohan Singh.
“People of India who talk about war and revenge must see the reality that Kashmir is an internationally accepted issue and there are agreements and resolutions passed over it,” said Mirwaiz. “I want to convey to the people of India that Kashmir is not Bihar or Himachal or any other state but a disputed state, divided between India and Pakistan.”
Referring to harassment and attacks on Kashmiri students and businessmen in outside states, post Lethpora attack, Mirwaiz termed it “well planned conspiracy”. “This all started first from Jammu where dozens of vehicles were torched by forces who have always been anti-Kashmir and anti-Muslims from day one,” he said, adding this anti-Kashmir hatred later spread to other states of India.
Condemning the assault on Kashmiris, Mirwaiz demanded safe passage of every single Kashmiri back to the Valley, stating "if anything untoward happens to any Kashmiri, blame will be on the government of that particular state."
About withdrawal of his security cover, Mirwaiz said that "New Delhi should understand that by removing his security, booking resistance leaders and caging Hurriyat leadership it can’t force us into submission."
“If New Delhi feels that by withdrawing security cover of pro-freedom leaders, we would be forced to stop talking about Kashmir issue, they are badly mistaken,” he said.
He lauded role of Sikh community in Punjab and Jammu, especially that of Khalsa Aid International, to help Kashmiris in outside states to return to the Valley.