The people's struggle for freedom and justice in Kashmir was started in 1931 against the autocratic rule of the Dogra king much before India and Pakistan were born, senior resistance leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik said on Sunday.
Unfortunately for the people of J&K, when the subcontinent gained freedom, the yoke of oppression passed on from an oppressive autocrat to oppressive "democrats", the three leaders said in a joint statement.
"Our struggle for freedom, like all freedom struggles in the world, is both indigenous and sacred. It has been kept alive by the tremendous sacrifices, sufferings, hardships, humiliation and perseverance of the brave people of J&K over the past nine decades. The amount of oppression that the people of the state are routinely subject to at the hands of the oppressor and its agencies, especially the armed forces, is among the most brutal in modern history," the leaders said. "The killing of more than 50 civilians by the forces, blinding of more than 150, injuring more than 3000 with impunity and unaccountability in the course of two weeks is a "blot on the face of humanity as the country which executes such barbarism prides itself in being the world's largest democracy."
"India's propaganda with regard to Kashmir's freedom struggle and the current revolt that it is sponsored and happening at the behest of an external power is so worn out and half-witted that it does not even warrant a response. The attempt to hoodwink people of India and the international community by such hogwash is simply deplorable," the leaders said in a hard-hitting statement.
The leadership said if India wants an end to hatred and hostility in the region and lasting peace to prevail, it should accept the reality of the Kashmir dispute and address it in accordance with the aspirations and rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
PROTEST CALANDER EXTENDED
Meanwhile, in continuation with its protest programme, the resistance leadership announced that on Monday (July 25), people in large numbers should move towards south Kashmir's Islamabad district and participate in a rally to be held at Lal Chowk there after the Zuhr (afternoon) prayers to express solidarity with people there and pay glowing tributes to the recent martyrs.
"On Tuesday (July 26), complete shutdown would be observed till 2 pm after which there will be a relaxation so that people are able to purchase essential commodities. In the evening between 8 pm and 9 pm, complete blackout will be observed," they said.
On Wednesday, July 27, the resistance leadership and people will move toward Kulgam district where glowing tributes would be paid to martyrs of Kulgam, the joint statement read.
"On Thursday, July 28, a complete shutdown will be observed and peaceful protests will be held by people in their local areas and in the evening between 8 pm and 9 pm complete blackout will be observed. On Friday, July 29, besides observing a complete shutdown, people from every village and town should come to Jamia Masjid Srinagar where glowing tributes would be paid to people martyred in the recent uprising as well as all the martyrs of Jammu and Kashmir. On the occasion a rally and a prayer Majlis will be held during which it would once again be resolved to continue the resistance movement till freedom," the three leaders said.