Srinagar: Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday sent a letter to Pope Francis in the Vatican, to the Dalai Lama, to the Imam of the Ka’ba, to the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, and to ambassadors of various countries in New Delhi, UN,EU and OIC, on the situation in Kashmir.
Mirwaiz in his letter said that “The security machinery of India has embarked upon the strategy of ruthlessly crushing us and our resistance with unprecedented brutality.”
“As I write to you, the present phase of the unceasing and unprecedented violence in Kashmir is over forty days old. Now a sense of extreme urgency has built up due to the inexplicable lack of response from the international community to this human tragedy. Why is the international community being a mute spectator? Is it awaiting some even more massive human tragedy to unfold in Kashmir before voicing their indignation? Aren’t 69 killings in less than 40 days, with over 6,000 youngsters and children injured – mostly blinded and maimed – enough for the consciousness of the international community to be stirred?” Mirwaiz asked in his letter.
“The indiscriminate and heartless use of the pellet gun at point-blank range on teenagers, with devastating consequences, has elicited enough negative reactions in editorials in Indian mainstream media,” he said.
“What is restraining the international community from speaking out against this extraordinary breach of democratic norms and humanitarian impulses? Is it some geo-political strategic imperatives or is it the lure of the Indian market or is it misinformation that is keeping the international community silent?” he asked.
“The Indian state is also making the citizens of India complicit in this brutality by obfuscating and denying them information. There is an embargo on information coming out from Kashmir. Social network sites like Facebook have been forced to remove vital information from their sites under pressure from Indian netizens. No international human rights organisation is being allowed into Kashmir for fear of exposure,” Mirwaiz further said.
Hurriyat (M) chairman said that all attempts at dialogue fail because the Indian state is intransigent and insists Kashmir is its integral part – no matter if it has to kill all Kashmiris for that.
“The Indian PM attempts to delegitimise our long term struggle – which began even before India’s struggle for freedom – by equating it with terrorism, through an irresponsible and false discourse. Unfortunately, the Indian state constructs its foreign policy on this bluster. 9/11 provided the Indian state an excuse to put the Kashmir struggle under the rubric of terror. In the post 9/11 Islamophobic environment it fits well with the broader narrative. Kashmir happens to be a Muslim majority territory and India is using it as a pretext to demonise a people as terrorists and miscreants,” he wrote in his letter.
He appealed to the international community to not remain silent spectators. “You have to intervene and stop this slide into brutality, which might soon be generating another wave of refugees fleeing to the West to escape local annihilation. The human cost of this conflict is immense. It is not about India and Pakistan but about this tiny dot on the world map – Kashmir – and its insignificant inhabitants. Their lives and their future are at stake,” he said.
“The issue in Kashmir is primarily about the people of Kashmir and their right to self-determination. Our struggle is rooted in a quest for justice and dignity. We are the victims of sustained aggression from a democratic state, which uses primarily un-democratic ways to extinguish our right to self-determination,” he wrote.
“This is a call for help to find a solution to this seemingly intractable problem which is taking a massive human toll. India and Pakistan cannot and are not able to do this on their own,” he wrote in his letter.