Srinagar: Terming the Indian army’s ‘warning’ to Kashmiri protesters as a direct threat and intimidation for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, JKLF leader Yasin Malik on Friday said that India was using ‘brutal force to keep its occupation on Kashmir intact, but Kashmiris would never give up their determination for freedom’. Malik, in a statement, also said the Indian army’s interference in domestic issues and religious affairs of the people was not acceptable.
The statement came in the backdrop of the army’s warning to people to desist from supporting militants when an encounter takes place, or the army conducts a cordon and search operation. The army’s statement was issued a day after a firing incident in south Kashmir’s
Aishmuqam village, where two civilians were wounded in firing by forces in retaliation to stone-pelting and protests.
Yasin said that the people of Jammu Kashmir have been ‘bearing the brunt of the Indian army’s wrath and oppression’ for many decades. “Indian army and forces have killed more than one lakh Kashmiris. Thousands stand disappeared in their custody. Thousands of unmarked graves are a sign of their oppressive behavior and there are hundreds of thousands who have witnessed their torture and incarceration”, Malik said.
Taking a dig at the army’s “goodwill programmes” in Kashmir, Malik said that on one hand the army is arranging programmes of ‘so-called Sadbhawna to befool people and on the other hand is threatening the same people of dire consequences’ for using their democratic right to protest: “A nation that has withstood all this oppression cannot be intimidated by threats and this has yet again proved the fact that Jammu Kashmir is governed by whims and whips of army and forces and it is actually a police state.”
Malik also termed British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s recent statement on Indo-Pak talks as unfortunate and unrealistic. “It was the British who left the Indian subcontinent with the burning conflict of Kashmir,” he said.
He added that Kashmir is the core issue and a major threat to peace and stability of south Asia, therefore anyone thinking of peace and stability in this region will have to address this issue first and foremost.