SRINAGAR: The Mirwaiz of Kashmir Umar Farooq delivered the Jumat-ul-Vida sermon at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid in which he promised that the pro-freedom leadership will together fight the PDP-BJP government’s anti-Kashmiri policies.
He said that a mass agitation will be begun if the state government did not come clear on its plans to set up separate housing for Pandits and ex-armymen. “On one side the government claims to have no proposal to settle non-locals in the state, while on the other side there are reports of non-locals being settled in Jammu. The united Azadi leadership will respond forcefully to the government’s duplicitous nature. It is unfortunate that the government is so permeated with anti-Muslim feelings that it refuses to ban alcohol in the state,” Mirwaiz said.
He said that it was the atrocities perpetrated by the state that had forced educated young Kashmiris to pick up guns.
“The state’s arrogance of power is responsible for the vitiated situation in the valley. The recent statements of BJP legislators to bomb Pakistan are absurd. War is not an option. This is not 1965 or 1971. This is 2016, when both India and Pakistan have nuclear arms. A war will destroy the subcontinent. It is shameful that such statements are being made,” Mirwaiz said.
He said that the People’s Democratic Party had deceived Kashmiris by its slogans of “battle of ideas” and “Baat banegi, Bolo”. “Hundreds of freedom-loving people are languishing in jails because the government is not ready to face the idea of freedom. Here the battle of ideas conveniently breaks down. I request the state government to release all prisoners,” Mirwaiz said.
To call for resistance against the government at Friday gatherings in mosques was a strategy agreed upon by the pro-freedom leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik. The state government as usual placed Geelani and his deputy Shabir Ahmad Shah under house arrest while Malik addressed a Friday gathering at Charar-i-Sharif.
Friday also being ‘Palestine Day’, the three leaders together passed a resolution d in favour of a peaceful solution to both Palestine and Kashmir disputes according to the wishes of their people. The resolution was passed at mosques, Sufi shrines and Shia Imam-bargahs across the state.