Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Wednesday that the "thread of peace" extended by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee "from Kashmir to Delhi to Islamabad" has been cut by his successor (PM Modi) who resorted to "military might to crush genuine dissent in Kashmir".
Mirwaiz said Vajpayee made an effort to resolve Kashmir by stating "the issue needs to be seen through the prism of humanity".
"But his successor abandoned Vajpayee's legacy," he said.
Mirwaiz said Hurriyat Conference had always maintained it will act as a bridge between India and Pakistan for a dignified resolution of Kashmir issue but the "situation is totally averse to any sort of dialogue as oppression touched new heights since 2014".
Mirwaiz was addressing a delegates' session after one of the Hurriyat (M) constituents, Bilal Lone-led People's Conference, changed its name to Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Independent Movement (JKPIM) at the Rajbagh headquarters of the amalgam.
Mirwaiz said when Vajpayee arrived in Kashmir as the Prime Minister, he announced an economic package.
"But later he realised that Kashmir was not an economic issue. It was Vajpayee who walked a mile, leaving behind the rhetoric, by stating that the Kashmir issue needs to be resolved within the ambit of humanity. He gave peace a chance and it was during his term when passports were issued to Hurriyat leaders who went to Islamabad to widen the ambit of dialogue."
Expressing displeasure over the way the present dispensation in New Delhi dealt with the Kashmir issue, Mirwaiz said that since 2014 Kashmir has been witnessing the "worst form of state terrorism".
Mirwaiz said the people Kashmir have been offering sacrifices for a sacred cause and "there is a long list of sacrifices that will go in the great history of Kashmir struggle".
"Kashmir struggle is not for any economic package or chair or for monetary benefits but purely for the right to self-determination," he said.
The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman said that a "series of steps are being taken to weaken the Kashmir struggle".
"The biggest example before us is that our educated youth are being pushed to the wall and left with no option other than to pick up arms and the resistance leadership is caged and not allowed to even mourn the deaths of our youth, our orchards are damaged, houses blown up and resistance leaders caged and booked under PSA," he said.
Mirwaiz talked about "the ploys to change the disputed nature of Kashmir" and the use of "military might is used to muzzle genuine dissent".
He said under Modi's leadership, while the government of India talks about Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat, "worst-ever policy of repression has been unleashed under the garb of cordon and search operations wherein our youth are being killed mercilessly".
Mirwaiz said that New Delhi's stubborn approach was the biggest hurdle in Kashmir resolution.
"People are facing tremendous hardships and it is need of the hour to forge unity on all fronts to carry forward the ongoing movement," he said.
"The present dispensation in New Delhi has resorted to hegemonic approach. But the more oppression Delhi would unleash the more our resolve to fight it will strengthen," Mirwaiz said.
He said New Delhi must understand that Kashmir was a human and political problem and that the issue needs to be resolved as per the aspirations of people. "Now many retired generals of India and Pakistani armies are writing articles and making it clear in various television debates that there can be no military solution to Kashmir issue," Mirwaiz said.
Asked New Delhi had been blaming Pakistan for promoting militancy in Kashmir, Mirwaiz said, "The figures are clear. Those killed by the forces and whose killing was claimed as a success are all local educated boys who were pushed to the wall by none other than the forces."
"When false cases are slapped on the youth and every space choked for them they are left with the no option other than to pick up arms. They are not trained guerillas or fighters. The fact is they are not even trained to fire. The well-equipped forces laced with sophisticated weapons fighting these boys shouldn't take pride in killing them."