At a time when the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley is on top of the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has said the proposal to “set up separate cities” is a dangerous plan and vowed to oppose it.
“Omer Abdullah was recently called to New Delhi and was told to identify 16,800 kanals of land in Kashmir to establish three separate cities for Kashmiri Pandits,” Geelani said at a seminar organised by his separatist amalgam.
“This is a grave issue… These cities are to be established in the north, south and central Kashmir and each of them require 5,600 kanals. Nearly 75,000 to 1,00,000 people will be accommodated in each city, which will be provided with every facility,” he added.
Geelani asserted that no Kashmiri was against the return of Pandits but said he would oppose any bid to create separate cities for them.
“No Kashmiri Muslim opposes the return of Kashmiri Pandits. But by creating separate cities for them, the government is actually working on its dangerous plan to harm our centuries-old brotherhood, to divide our society and to give our freedom struggle a communal colour. We will oppose it at every level and in every possible way,” he said.
The Hurriyat chairman said his separatist amalgam would soon start consultations with other separatists to build a “national consensus” over the issue.
Geelani also warned against the settling of refugees from Pakistan, terming it an attempt to change the demography of the state.
“The Modi government is coming up with a dangerous policy of changing the demography of Kashmir. The government is working on RSS plans and wants to convert the majority Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir into a minority,” he said.
In the wake of a recent video statement from Al Qaeda denouncing the politics of strikes and peaceful protests and calling for “jihad to liberate” Jammu and Kashmir, the hardline separatist leader said Al Qaeda or Taliban had no role to play in the state.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.