Srinagar: Both pro-freedom and pro-India politicians Sunday welcomed the release of Muslim League chairman Masrat Alam Bhat.
Bhat, known as the architect of 2008 and 2010 anti-India uprisings, was released after 53-month-long captivity on March 7.
In a statement, Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said that Bhat faced a very tough time in the Valley and outside jails during this period of his incarceration.
“But he has showed extraordinary courage and boldness in facing these hardships and has made clear to the Indian rulers and their local agents here that the resistance leadership can’t be suppressed or scared by the gallows, jails or tortures.
“Release of Masrat sahib will further strengthen the freedom movement of Kashmir,” Geelani said and demanded unconditional release of all the political prisoners of Kashmir languishing in Valley as well as outside jails.
“India has no legal, constitutional or moral justification of their continuous detention,” he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman said that on the directions of Geelani, dozens of Hurriyat (G) leaders and activists visited the residence of Masrat on Sunday and expressed their happiness on his release.
The spokesman said that Geelani also talked to Bhat over telephone.
Welcoming the release of Alam, the Dal Khalsa has asked the Punjab government to show magnanimity and release all political prisoners languishing in state prisons.
In a statement to Kashmir Reader, party spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the release of Alam from illegal detention was long due.
He termed the release of Kashmiri pro-freedom leader as a significant development.
“Enough blood has been shed in the Valley. Betrayals by successive New Delhi and its sponsored-state governments have created deep mistrust in the minds of Kashmiri people”.
“After eulogizing the role of Hurriyat and militants and condemning the hanging of Afzal Guru and seeking his mortal remains, the PDP has taken first practical bold step by releasing Masrat Alam. Whether it’s a grand design by the PDP to grab the Hurriyat space or to test the waters or fulfill the political aspirations of Kashmiri people, only time would tell,” Singh said.
MLA Langate Er Rasheed while welcoming Alam’s release said, “The release of Masrat Alam release should not been seen as an undue favour to him or Kashmiris.”
“The frustration being shown by few political parties and a section of national media leads to the fact that how scared GoI is about the genuine political activities in Jammu & Kashmir,” he said.
He said that everyone knows that Bhat and dozens of others have been put behind the bars in gross root violation of human rights under draconian laws. “It is shameful on part of so-called nationalist forces who in the name of patriotism want to crush voice of Kashmiris for resolution of dispute.”
Rashid ridiculed former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for using Masrat’s release as a point to scoring opportunity over PDP to “please his masters in Delhi. Omar should answer why he didn’t release Masrat Alam, Dr Qasim Faktoo and others during his tenure despite claiming his collation partner congress to be more secular and Kashmir friendly. Omar should tender apology for accusing Bhat of entering into deal against his release.”
Dukhtaran-e-Millat chairperson Syeda Asiya Andrabi while commenting on Bhat’s release said, “It was only Section 109 due to which he was kept in jail. Making a mountain out of the mole is not needed at all. Mufti government must not create a misplaced euphoria over his release.”
She said the release of the political prisoners would in no way help in resolution of Kashmir. “What will happen even if they (government) release all political prisoners? Our objective is that the mission must be a success for which our people are languishing in jails,” she said.
“I can only say that even the entire leadership is jailed but main objective is the end of occupation and India must accept Kashmir as a dispute and must confess that it has no right over the people here,” she said.