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Kashmiri separatist leaders today hailed the people of the Valley for showing their deep resentment against the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims. A statement issued jointly by Chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani, head of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik said, “The protests over this ghastly act (attack on the pilgrims) and the participation of all segments of society in them is heartening to see.”
It is highly commendable that “the people of Kashmir have retained their humanitarian values and their belief in the great Kashmir ethos is intact,” the statement said. They said this should “serve as an eye-opener to those who encourage polarisation as a political tool and leave no stone unturned to demonize a people through media and crush them by use of force for their just political aspirations that have a historical and democratic bases.”
The killing has sparked an outrage in Kashmir, with most people dismissing denouncing the attack on pilgrims. “All bloodshed on all sides is uncalled for, unfortunate and painful and should stop. That can happen only when the reality of Kashmir is accepted and ways and means of resolving the dispute addressed by the Indian State,” the separatists said.
“If the Government of India is seriously interested in the welfare of the youth of Kashmir and wants peace in the region, then it has to engage with their political sentiment and aspirations and give them the basic right to decide their future dispensation as guaranteed by the first Prime Minister of India and the international community,” they said.