Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday wondered how can the separatists be of help to authorities in Jammu and Kashmir to restore normalcy when they are labelled as a “threat to peace” and blamed the ruling dispensation for the fresh cycle of violence.
Mirwaiz’s remarks came hours after the state government appealed to separatist Hurriyat Conference, besides mainstream parties, to assist in its efforts towards restoring normalcy in the state, which has been rocked by violent protests following the killing of young militant commander Burhan Wani.
“What do they want us to do? They label us as a threat to peace and cage, confine and gag us. We are not even allowed to offer Eid prayers! so how can we be of help?,” said Mirwaiz when asked about Hurriyat’s response to the appeal.
Education Minister Naeem Akhtar told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that it had requested all political forces including National Conference, Congress or CPI-M or “those people who are not in the mainstream, those who are really concerned as much we are concerned which includes leaders from the Hurriyat” to help restore peace in the state.
“You see the statement of this gentleman (Akhtar) is ludicrous. In Kashmiri there is a saying “naar viz kyur” (dig a well when there is fire). This is what the policy of central govt has always been. When Kashmir burns they come running asking for help and when they contain killings, they are back to labeling us as traitors. The reality is that no military solution can be thrust on the people.
“All along Hurriyat Conference has maintained the Kashmir issue is a political issue with regard to the political dispensation of the people of the state. It has to be resolved politically. It’s time for New Delhi to give up its hard and aggressive posturing on Kashmir and address the ground realities on its merit,” he said.
Strongly condemning the unbridled use of brutal force against the protesters, he said so far 18 young boys have been shot dead and more than 200 are injured out of which about 70 have bullet injuries above waist and many have pellet injuries around their eyes and face.
Mirwaiz posed a question as to whether the Centre knows the reason as to why a 21-year-old Burhan Wani chose the gun over books.
“Just by saying that Kashmir is an integral part of India does not alter the reality of Kashmir,” he said while referring to a statement made by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu who said that the violence over killing of Burhan was unjustified and the state was an integral part of India.
The Mirwaiz, who holds the post of chairman in the moderate Hurriayat Conference, regretted the silence of political parties like Congress and Left over the fresh cycle of violence in the state and said “by remaining mute spectators to the killings in the Valley they show they are also least interested in the suffering of Kashmiris.”
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