SRINAGAR: J&K High Court Bar Association, Srinagar, on Monday expressed surprise over the statement made by the home minister of India, Rajnath Singh, after the all-party delegation’s visit to Srinagar.
In a statement issued here, Bar said Syed Ali Geelani and other pro-freedom leaders did not meet the Indian parliamentary delegation in order to register their protest against the “brute force” used on the people of Kashmir.
There was no other way for them to register their protest, as they were either lodged in police stations or jails or were under house detention, it said.
“Syed Ali Geelani did not use any force for registering his protest. He simply refused to talk, and it was an innocent, polite and respectful way of registering the protest,” Bar said.
“He knew that he had talked to these members in 2008 and 2010, but his talking with them had not brought any change in the mindset of the Indian government that was and is engaged in a systematic genocide of the people of Kashmir,” it added.
The lawyers’ body said the home minister’s assertion that Kashmir “is and will remain an integral part of India”, clearly showed his and the delegation’s insincerity in dealing with the Kashmir issue.
They, it said, had come to Kashmir for a “sojourn and photo session, and not with any sincere or honest desire” to find a solution to the Kashmir problem.
Geelani had put six pre-condition for India to engage the pro-freedom leadership in dialogue over Kashmir, it said.
“However, none of his six demands were agreed to by the government of India,” it said.
The Bar said if New Delhi acknowledged the disputed nature of Kashmir and publically declared it “a dispute, which has to be settled as per the wishes of the people, as promised by their great leaders viz Mahatma Gandhi and Pt Nehru”, they will find Geelani and all other pro-freedom leaders ready to talk.
“The cosmetic steps taken by government of India by sending a delegation to Kashmir is no panacea to the wounds of the people of Kashmir, who have been treated ruthlessly, brutally and barbarically by India and its forces for the last 70 years,” Bar said.