SRINAGAR: Chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has expressed his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan, its people and leadership for their “unconditional and unflinching support to the political movement of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the right to self-determination”.
In his message on the occasion of February 5 which Pakistan observes as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’, Mirwaiz, who continues to be under house arrest, said, “The people of Jammu and Kashmir and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference has always appreciated the support of Pakistan, at all levels, be it diplomatic political or moral for the past seven decades despite difficult and testing times for the country itself.”
“We appreciate the Government of Pakistan and its leadership who have always extended all possible support to our political movement for the resolution of Kashmir dispute. The people of Kashmir have for a long time been battling hardships and oppression. In order to relinquish their struggle, they are being targeted by bullets and pellets; resistance leadership, activists, human right groups, intellectuals, newspaper offices, civil society members and traders are also targeted and harassed for their association and sympathising with the people’s movement.”
Mirwaiz said in 2016 and 2017, after the mass uprising for the right to self-determination, “the suppression and reign of terror was let loose with all its notoriety on the population of Kashmir”.
“618 Kashmiris, most of them youth, were martyred and over 16,000 injured – 70 percent of them by pellets at the hands of government forces. Putting the resistance leadership, including me, under house arrest or in police custody has been a routine for this period and it is very seldom that I am allowed to move out of my residence,” Mirwaiz said.
He said not only the political rights but religious rights of the people are being curtailed by the use of “naked force” whereas the historic Jamia Masjid of Srinagar remained locked for most of the time in 2016, and in 2017, it was locked for 18 Fridays.
“In spite of all the suppression, the ruthless rulers have not been able to break the will and commitment of the people towards the movement,” Hurriyat chairman said. “The continued help and support extended by Pakistan in such difficult and trying circumstances has always strengthened the determination of the people to carry forward their just and legitimate peaceful political struggle.”
Mirwaiz said Pakistan being one of the main parties to Kashmir dispute has always played a frontal role at both regional and international level in highlighting the suffering of the Kashmiris as well as presenting the Kashmir dispute in its historical context.
The resistance leader said it was his firm belief that the resolution of Kashmir dispute lay in either the implementation of the United Nations’ resolutions or through the alternative route of dialogue among New Delhi, Islamabad and Kashmiris.
He said given the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the subcontinent, putting the resolution of Kashmir dispute under the carpet is likely to prove dangerous and harmful to the peace and stability of the region. He said it is high time that the government and leadership of India address the issue and take practical steps to initiate a meaningful and result-orientated dialogue both with Islamabad and the people of Kashmir and end the environment of confrontation of over 7 decades in the region the maximum brunt of which is being borne by the people of Jammu and Kashmir