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Let Kashmir leadership on both sides evolve consensus: Mirwaiz to India, Pakistan

Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said if New Delhi were really serious about bringing peace in Kashmir, it should allow leaders from both parts of Kashmir to sit together to evolve “consensus on Kashmir and a way forward.”Addressing a mammoth gathering at the historic Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz said unless New Delhi gives up its “rigidity regarding the dispute” and gives real peace a chance the situation is unlikely to change.

Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat would support every serious effort aimed at resolving Kashmir so that peace prevails in the region and bloodshed stops.

Commenting on the recovery of a girl and army major Leetul Gogoi from a local hotel here, Mirwaiz said “it shows the terror army men have struck in the hearts of locals”. He said such is the fear that girl’s family had not reported Gogoi’s nocturnal visits to their home in the past, as reported in the media.

Gogoi last year earned notoriety for tying a man to the bonnet of an army vehicle and parading him through various villages as human shield against stone-throwing protesters.

Mirwaiz said the immunity enjoyed by armed forces under various laws like AFSPA has emboldened them to do “things of their choice”.

“Since the armed forces know come what may they will be saved even if found guilty and instead of being punished will be rewarded, as major Gogoi was in the human shield case, they do as they please,” Mirwaiz said.

He said this unaccountability leads to repression, harassment and intimidation, which in turn pushes Kashmiris to the wall and forces the youth to take up arms to avenge atrocities.

Mirwaiz said instead of registering a case against this “shameless Major”, the local authority let him go.

“This incident brings to fore the vulnerability of Kashmiris, even that of our women, as a consequence of being under the yoke of oppression,” he said.

Expressing serious concern over border firing between Indian and Pakistan armies, Mirwaiz urged the two nations to “stop the mayhem and killings” and start a process for resolving Kashmir peacefully.He said not only civilians but soldiers on the both sides of LoC also continue to get killed in the firing. Mirwaiz said that such a situation has now become routine at the LOC as it remains tense most of the year.

Meanwhile, Mirwaiz also expressed concern over “degradation in the moral values within Kashmiri society” and urged people to unite and fight against liquor consumption, drug abuse and other “immoral activities”. He asked parents to keep a close watch on their children and asked the youth to ensure that the social fabric “stays clean”.

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