Says pro-freedom camp devising strategy to counter government initiatives to dilute Kashmir issue
ANANTNAG: Senior pro-freedom leader and Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Wednesday warned of a 2008-like agitation against the recent exposes on the government’s plans to build exclusive colonies for former soldiers, construction of permanent shelters for non-local labourers and allotment of land to non-state industrialists. He said the pro-freedom camp is mulling a joint strategy to counter the government’s initiatives.
“The government wants to dilute the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. These plans and policies are aimed at diluting Kashmir issue and ending the role of Kashmiris in the whole affair,” Mirwaiz told reporters here after addressing a Seerat conference organised by Nusratul Islam School.
Mirwaiz asked the state government to come clean over the issue, lest the pro-freedom camp “becomes constrained to appeal for massive protests against the government’s plans”. He said that JKLF chief Yasin Malik participated in a seminar organised by his group where participants stressed on the formulation of a joint strategy to deal with the contentious issues.
“If the government fails to clear its policy on these issues, the combined Hurriyat, civil society, traders and employees will announce and go for a joint mass movement on the pattern of 2008 when attempts were made to sell the land to Amarnath shrine board,” Mirwaiz said
He said that the governments in New Delhi and J&K have devised several such policies since 1947 to make the people of J&K more and more dependent.
“All the proposals which are in the interests of the economy of Kashmiris are being done away with by the government as they want us to be slaves in all respects. We have been completely made dependent on Srinagar-Jammu highway. The cross LoC trade along Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road has been confined to 27 items only,” Mirwaiz said.
He said the pro-freedom camp is not against industrialisation. “We only want that local entrepreneurs and youth be allotted land. Bringing in non-local industrialists and providing shelter to non-locals won’t be acceptable to us. We will fight against such policies tooth and nail,” Mirwaiz said.
He also expressed concern over Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s mammoth investments in non-local corporations. “We have information that these non-locals have turned defaulters,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz appreciated the local media for highlighting issues which are being implemented clandestinely by the state establishment. “Many things are done through back doors about which people don’t have any idea. Media is acting as a watchdog and keeps the people informed about such policies of the government. We believe that it has to play a more positive role,” he said.