SRINAGAR: The joint resistance leadership (JRL) on Tuesday termed it “mischievous and misleading” the statement of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in assembly that “pro-freedom leaders shy away from participating in the dialogue process”.
“No sane person would oppose a meaningful dialogue process as a means of conflict resolution, especially when the entire nation is reeling under such gruelling repression and paying so dearly,” the JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik said in a statement.
They said the offer becomes “unrealistic” when it is set with parameters and conditions like ‘within the Indian Constitution, accepting (the Instrument of) Accession as final and so on’.
“It then becomes a tool to tide over the current crisis, maintain the status quo, buy time, weaken the movement and the leadership and keep the issue lingering,” the JRL said. “Instead of creating an atmosphere conducive for engagement, there was further increase and aggressiveness in military operations like ‘Operation All Out’ which is aimed at killing not only militants but anyone who protests, and this is done to instill fear of forces in people and harass them and dissuade them from their political struggle.”
“Simultaneously, all space for resistance leadership is chocked and pressure is put on us to stop representing the sentiments of Kashmiri people,” they said.
The leadership said the situation in Kashmir is volatile and in terms of repression and human rights violations, it is at the “all time low”. “All our educational, social and religious institutions are under assault. Each day, under a well-planned strategy of RSS, new threats emanate to these institutions from various power centres of New Delhi. The aim is to undermine our identity and eventually change the demographic character of the state and the discourse on Kashmir,” the JRL said.
They said instead of resisting these moves, the “local collaborators” are abetting New Delhi and diverting people’s attention by raising the “bogey” of dialogue.
“Mehbooba Mufti calls Maharaja Hari Singh’s accession with India historic and in the same breath advocates dialogue for the resolution of the dispute. It shows their duplicity and betrayal with the people,” they said.
The JRL said Kashmir dispute has now become a 70-year-old and the best possible way to resolve it is to give the people of Jammu Kashmir the basic right to self determination “as was recently also suggested by an Indian intellectual while giving the reference of Scotland and Ireland”.
“An alternative way to resolve the issue can be a sustained transparent and meaningful dialogue process where all three parties – India, Pakistan and the representatives of Kashimiris come together to reach to a solution acceptable to all the stakeholders,” the JRL said, adding that the resistance leadership has always welcomed the sustained and meaningful dialogue for the resolution of Kashmir issue as per the wishes of its people who are the mains stakeholders of the dispute.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said the least the Mehbooba Mufti could do is to put an end to “repression” by stopping the ‘Operation All Out’ which leaves behind a trail of killing blinding and maiming.
“An end should be put to arbitrary arrests of Kashmiri people at will like Kawa and raiding and arresting the resistance leaders by NIA and ED and then lodging them in notorious Tihar Jail in New Delhi; and also the assault on Kashmiri prisoners there. All political prisoners should be released.”
They also demanded end to targeting of educational institutions, masajids and shrines especially on Fridays. “If Mehbooba Mufti really means what she says and has a heart, she should ensure these things are done away with and an atmosphere is created where one can see and feel that some semblance of humanity is restored and people’s and leadership’s faith on dialogue is restored; only then we can move forward towards peace,” they said.
Meanwhile, JRL expressed condolence over the death of Muhammad Ayoub Bhat of Shopian who had sustained serious bullet injuries during clashes last month.
The leadership extended solidarity and sympathy to the family members of Bhat and the sacrifices offered by people of Kashmir will be protected in every form.