Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani on Friday said he has rejected BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s offer to make a “commitment” to seek a resolution of Kashmir issue if the latter comes into power.
“On March 22, I was approached in New Delhi by two Kashmiri Pandits who identified themselves as Narendra Modi’s representatives and they told me they wanted commitment from me regarding the Kashmir issue and that when Modi becomes Prime Minister of India this year, he will address the issue,” Geelani said while addressing a press conference at his Hyderpora residence here.
But, Geelani said, he rejected the offer “there and then only” given Modi’s RSS background and his role in killing of thousands of Muslims during the Gujarat riots in 2002.
“I told them that Modi is the RSS man and we know what ideology he follows and what his policy on Kashmir issue is. I told them the he will never adopt a realistic approach on the Kashmir issue,” said Geelani.
“We know Modi’s ideology, and there was no question of showing any commitment with him,” he said.
“Those who give statements about Modi that his policy on Kashmir will be soft after he becomes Prime Minister of India and have expectation from him might have met his representatives in Kashmir also,” Geelani said in an oblique reference to Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and amir of Jama’at-i-Islami J&K Mohammad Abdullah Wani
Mirwaiz had recently said that he was hopeful that Modi “will pursue the outlook of Vajpayee on Kashmir issue”, while Wani had said that Modi will be “soft once he becomes Prime Minister of India.”
Geelani, who returned to the Valley on Wednesday after one month stay in New Delhi and was immediately placed under house arrest, urged people to stay away from upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Kashmir and observe “civil curfew” on the polling days (April 24, April 30 and May 7) in three constituencies of the Kashmir valley.
“Besides, people should stage protests against the elections from maqrib (evening) to isha (night) prayers a day before every election day,” said Geelani.
He also condemned arrest and detention of pro-freedom leaders, who campaign for election boycott, and called for complete shutdown on April 21.
“When people have right to vote, others can have the right to boycott the polls also. We condemn the arrests and detention of pro-freedom leaders which is undemocratic and illegal,” said Geelani.
He said that elections have no meaning unless and until Kashmir issue is resolved as per wishes of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Peace will not prevail in sub-continent, and India and Pakistan can’t develop good relation unless Kashmir issue is resolved,” said Geelani.
He also urged people not to follow and fall into the “trap of pro-India political parties” who raise the false slogans that they will resolve the Kashmir issue once they come to power.
“NC, PDP, Congress, PC or any other political party contesting elections here are groups with different names and with same agenda of consolidating and legitimizing the Indian occupation in Kashmir,” said Geelani.
Regarding Tosmaidan land lease issue, he said that state government should not extend the lease to the army and he is against the relocation of army’s firing range to any other place in the state.
“It is pro India political parties here who have sold out Kashmir to the army and we have said it before that there are around 28 lakh kanals of land under army’s occupation in the state,” said Geelani.
“It is not the issue of Tosmaidan only, it is the issue of whole occupation of our land for which we have to strive,” said Geelani.