Kashmiri separatists on Wednesday slammed the US decision to declare Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a “global terrorist”, terming it as “highly unjustifiable and regrettable”. In a joint statement issued in Srinagar, hardline Hurriyat Conference chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik also condemned the arrest and detention of separatist leaders and activists.
On declaration of Salahuddin as a “global terrorist”, the separatists said, “While the US claims to espouse and stand for democratic principles of liberty and justice, how can it turn a blind eye to the brazen violation (of liberty and justice) in this part of the world?”
The statement said, “Declaring a Kashmiri freedom fighter as terrorist will not resolve the Kashmir dispute or bring peace. What it can do, is embolden the Indian government to further suppress Kashmiris and further increase the level of human rights violations committed against them.” The separatists also condemned the arrest and detention of separatist leaders and activists, saying it was a part of “political vendetta and revenge” against them.
Geelani’s son-in-law along with hardline Hurriyat Conference spokesman Ayaz Akbar and another senior leader of Geelani’s Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Mehrajuddin Kalwal were arrested by police on Tuesday and lodged at police station Rajbagh. They were reportedly scheduled to visit NIA in Delhi for another round of questioning.
NIA has raided the residences of separatist leaders and businessmen in Kashmir since last month to probe alleged funding by Pakistan for fuelling unrest in the valley.Referring to the questioning of some separatist leaders and businessmen by the NIA, the separatists said, “such totalitarian moves are being adopted by Delhi and its agencies with a view to pressurize the pro-freedom leadership in Kashmir and weaken the people’s struggle”.
The statement said, “Continuously asking Hurriyat leaders including Altaf Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam and a few businessmen to report at the office of NIA in New Delhi, and then confining them to a room there for the whole day from morning to night, on the pretext of so-called questioning just to harass and scare them is extreme deplorable.”