Srinagar: Referring to the arrests of seven Hurriyat leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), PDP Vice President Muzaffar Hussain Baig said at the party rally on Saturday that the Narendra Modi-led government should not punish some Hurriyat leaders for just sitting in the office of Syed Ali Geelani.
“I am sure the Modi-led government will take a justified view of the arrest of seven Hurriyat leaders by the NIA,” Baig said in his address to PDP workers. “How can people be kept behind bars for just sitting inside Geelani’s office? The arrests won’t help the government. Sheikh Abdullah was arrested and then let go. What happened afterwards?”
He said action should be taken against those who embezzled money for murdering children and burning schools. “One leader on TV confessed he will take 70 crore rupees for enforcing a strike for six months. And that he will burn schools. Action should be taken against such people,” Baig said.
Indicating that China was extending its influence in South Asia through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the PDP parliamentarian said that Syed Geelani should realize the changes in geopolitics of the region and know that China was controlling roughly 50 percent of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK).
“The position today is that even if Pakistan wants to talk to India it cannot do so without China’s permission,” Baig said. “There is practically an occupation of PaK by China. We should know that in its Muslim-dominated areas, China has stopped people from offering prayers, observing fasts, and has even asked them to not christen their children with Muslim names. Geelani sahib should understand the fast-changing situation in the region.”
Referring to the history of Kashmir, Baig said it was due to the folly of Kashmiri leaders and central leadership in the year 1943 that Kashmir was divided.
“Otherwise, Kashmir would have been the gateway to the biggest trade routes in the region,” Baig said.
He appealed to Geelani to ask militants to renounce guns.
Baig said it was due to the PDP-BJP government that Muslims in India were saved from a major tragedy. “The killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims would have triggered a murderous assault on Muslims in India and in Jammu,” he said. “By visiting the yatris, Mehbooba gave a message to India that Kashmiris do not believe in killing on communal lines.”
He also praised Geelani for playing a constructive role by condemning the killing of Hindu pilgrims.
“He might have a different politics from us. But he was to the point when he condemned the killings,” Baig said.
When Baig asked those who had come from south Kashmir to raise their hands, only a few hands were raised. At this, Baig said, “I believe that after the recent turmoil, the south Kashmir will bring in a revolution of peace. We know that workers have complaints with the PDP. The complaints are justified. We will uphold the dignity of the workers. I promise you that,” he said.
“The centre gave us Rs 1900 crore for development projects. But due to the turmoil in Kashmir we could not do it, even in the relatively peaceful areas of north and central Kashmir. Some blame lies with us as well,” Baig said.