‘Kashmir has to be addressed sooner or later’
SRINAGAR: Chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said that NIA’s acts in Kashmir don’t surprise Kashmiris as the credibility of such investigative agencies is being questioned even by the people of India.
“Today, in India itself, the credibility and impartiality of these investigative agencies that are being used to trail their guns at us, is being severely questioned and challenged by Indians themselves. These agencies are being called the agents of the ruling dispensation which are used against anyone and everyone who is an opponent or does not agree with the government or questions them,” Mirwaiz said while addressing people at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar’s Old City here.
“So if that is the case in India itself, it comes as no surprise to Kashmiris that they will be used to undermine our struggle and subvert it,” he said.
Mirwaiz said it will be one year on July 24 since NIA started the “arbitrary” arrest of political leaders and activists which continues till today. “It is evident to all that the raids conducted by NIA and the subsequent harassment and arrests being made by them at the behest of Government of India (GoI) is nothing but a ploy to intimidate the people’s leadership and instill fear of grave consequences in them, while at the same time malign the leadership through visceral propaganda and create doubt and disillusionment among people regarding their movement for self-determination,” he said.
“Those behind such measures should understand that Kashmiris are far too politically mature and conscious people who have seen enough of such plots and ploys for the last 70 years of rule under India,” Hurriyat chairman said. “Such moves only bring to fore the GoI’s policy of continuing to use extreme repression and intimidation as a means to crush the people’s resistance and of having no desire to settle the Kashmir dispute.”
Friday prayers were allowed at Jamia Masjid after two weeks. Mirwaiz slammed authorities for imposing frequent restrictions on prayers at the historic mosque saying restrictions, curbs and repression has become the standard process of authorities to “manage Kashmir and keep Kashmiris in check”.
On political prisoners, Mirwaiz said their condition is quite bad as they have been kept with criminals in Delhi’s notorious Tihar jail and as such there is always a risk to their lives. He lauded the courage and commitment of incarcerated leaders including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Advocate Shahidul Islam, Asiya Andrabi, and others, and demanded their immediate and unconditional release.
“Let it be clear to all that neither the leadership nor the people will be cowed down by these measures and propaganda. The people’s demand for the right to self-determination was, is and will continue to be there till it is granted to us. Sooner or later, the Kashmir dispute has to be addressed and no amount of repression, harassment, intimidation or fear can change that fact,” Mirwaiz said.