‘Hope new Govt at New Delhi changes its anti-Kashmiri policy’
Pinning hope that new dispensation at New Delhi would change its rigid policy on Kashmir, Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Sunday said had Government of India (GoI) allowed separatist leaders to carry out their political activities, the bloodshed in Kashmir would have been less.
Addressing a seminar at its Rajbagh headquarters, the Mirwaiz said despite facing all the hardships from GoI, Hurriyat was willing to support any peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan that could resolve the prolonged Kashmir issue.
The seminar was organsied to commemorate the anniversaries of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq, senior Hurriyat Abdul Gani Lone and the victims of Hawal massacre of May 21, 1990.
“In the past six years, the GoI has unilaterally derailed all the goodwill initiatives started by the previous governments in regard to Kashmir,” the Mirwaiz said. “The situation has now reached a point where a young man like Adil Dar was compelled to become a suicide bomber.”
The Mirwaiz said the violence in Kashmir, particularly in south, was the result of New Delhi’s rigid and muscular policies.
“Today our youth is so emotionally overwhelmed that despite having no knowledge of a combat, he picks up a gun and lays down his life,” he said. “Since the start of Ramadan, 12 militants achieved martyrdom.”
The Mirwaiz said earlier the Hurriyat used to be allowed to hold public meeting and seminars where they used to preach peaceful resolution of Kashmir, but now the situation had changed completely.
“We (Hurriyat) used to reach out to the people and tell them how Kashmir issue can be solved amicably. But, now with all Hurriyat leaders caged, our youth have no option but to turn toward violence,” he said. “If GoI continues to put restriction on Hurriyat leaders, it will lead to a complete anarchy.”
Replying to criticism that Hurriyat leaders must do more toward peace in Kashmir, the Mirwaiz said with embargo on their political activities, the leadership had limited access to connect with the people.
The Mirwaiz said if GoI had an assumption that by resorting to a muscular policy, they could solve the Kashmir issue, then they were grossly mistaken.
“It is our fourth generation who are demanding their rights. You can kill people but not their ideology. You can’t sideline Kashmiris by using oppressive measures,” he said.
The Mirwaiz said despite odds, Hurriyat (M) went for talks with GoI in (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time to give peace a chance.
“We talked with India when no one was ready to engage with them in Kashmir. Even though we had to face a lot of criticism, we still went ahead, hoping that something positive will come out. And today also our aim is the same. Hurriyat always seeks peaceful Kashmir resolution,” the Mirwaiz said.
Endorsing the view of senior Hurriyat leader, Abdul Ghani Bhat, who was also present on the occasion, that Hurriyat should be united like in 1993, the Mirwaiz said steadfastness and strategy should be the two qualities in a leader to deal with the situation like in Kashmir.
The Mirwaiz also appreciated Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s desire to see a peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue.
“Imran Khan has proved by his behavior that a meaningful dialogue is the only way out to bring peace and prosperity between the two countries. I hope that his initiative will be reciprocated by Indian leadership after the polls,” he said.
The Mirwaiz said the Congress in their party manifesto had also mentioned about a peaceful dialogue on Kashmir issue.
“Whosoever comes in the government in New Delhi, we hope they shun their anti-Kashmiri policy and engage in a peaceful dialogue with all the stakeholders. The Hurriyat is ready,” the Mirwaiz said.
He also asked mainstream political parties to fulfil their roles if they truly claim to be the representatives of the people.
“These parties should clearly tell New Delhi that development and employment is not the solution of Kashmir issue. It needs to be addressed politically,” the Hurriyat (M) chairman said.
He said Hurriyat would lead a peaceful protest march on May 21 from Jamia Masjid to Mazar-e-Shuhada Eidgah to commiserate the martyrdom anniversaries of Shaheed-e-Milat Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq (RA), martyrs of Hawal massacre of May 21, 1990 and the martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed-e-Hurriyat Abdul Gani Lone.