SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said in his Friday sermon at the Jamia Masjid that the right to self-determination is the most democratic and simple way to resolve the Kashmir issue. An alternative method, he said, is dialogue among all stakeholders.
Both are reasonable means of conflict resolution and of ensuring peace and prosperity in the region, the Mirwaiz said. “Every generation of Kashmiris since 1947 has been intent on resolution (of the Kashmir dispute) to put an end to the uncertainty and distress that arises for them,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that the fourth generation of Kashmiris raised under this relentless occupation is now desperate to end it, even at the cost of sacrificing their lives. “Recreational facilities and cricket fields are no substitute, nor is repression,” Mirwaiz said.
On the upcoming municipal and panchayat elections, he said that for the people of Kashmir, elections have lost all value.
Speaking at Jamia Masjid after a gap of two weeks when Friday prayers were barred by the government, the Mirwaiz said, “Neither are any democratic principles followed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir nor have any democratic institutions been allowed to prosper here. Instead, the reverse has taken place with the use of extreme unreasonable force and authoritarianism.”
Mirwaiz told the gathering that any electoral process in such a situation only becomes a means to propagate to outsiders that things are under control and returning to “normal”.
“People should boycott these elections while observing a complete shutdown in protest, the call for which has already been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL),” he said.
After the Friday prayers, Hurriyat activists staged a protest outside the mosque.