Srinagar: Atrocities perpetrated against Jammu and Kashmir’s Muslim population by Indian forces have turned the “historically political” dispute into an Islamic issue.
This was stated by MLA-elect Langate and Awami Ittehad Party chief Engineer Rashid during a seminar on the issue of concessions to West Pakistan refugees Monday here.
“The conflict in its historic background is a political problem that needs to be settled but the atrocities have always been faced by the Muslim population which has turned it into an Islamic issue,” Rashid said.
Rashid said the Muslim population has been the “prime target of all the state oppression being perpetrated upon the population.”
“Whether it is somebody being killed, or detained under acts like PSA , it is only Muslims bearing the brunt of oppression,” Rashid said.
“How many Pandits have been killed ? How many have been slapped with PSA? Why is it only Muslims of the state who have to face the wrath always? ” asked Rashid.
The seminar also saw the presence of leaders from the pro-freedom camp with former Hizbul Mujahideen commander General Musa delivering the concluding speech.
Musa, who now heads Tehreek-e-Kashmir party, tried to justify his participation in the seminar by saying that his “party has put the national cause over the party-led politics of the pro freedom groups.”
“Collaborator has become a quick label in this region and I know the consequences of participating in a seminar organized by a party who is a part of the Assembly,” Musa said adding the issue of giving permanent citizenship to the refugees will have a disastrous effect on the demography of the state.
“While the issue of Kashmir resolution is of prime importance but the settlement of WPR is itself a major issue. We must unite regardless of our party affiliations,” Musa said.
Musa was not the only one from the pro freedom camp to participate in the seminar titled “Conspiracy to change the demographic and constitutional identity of Kashmir”.
Muhammad Ashraf Mir of Peoples Political Front, a constituent of Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also spoke on the occasion.
Pakistan resonated in the seminar with Kashmir Economic Alliance chairman Mohammad Yaseen Khan calling the nuke heads of Pakistan as blessing.
“The fear of India that Pakistan has a bomb is a blessing,” said Yaseen.
Speakers in the seminar asked government of India and Pakistan to settle the issue of WPR among themselves.
According to AIP chief they had invited cross section of society to the seminar but no one from the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party were present in the seminar.