Praising Kashmiri people for braving “Delhi’s ultimate repression” and staying committed towards the goal, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik Thursday asked New Delhi what would be its next line of action after the month-long ceasefire it announced on Wednesday.
Mirwaiz said things should be clear whether Delhi would once again resort to killing, maiming and blinding youth after Ramadhan or accept the ground realities and take steps towards conflict resolution. He was speaking at a seminar titled “Responsibility of Leadership In Safeguarding the Sanctity of Martyrdom” and organised by the Hurriyat Conference (M) at its Rajbagh headquarters.
On Wednesday, Union home minister Rajnath Singh announced that government forces would not launch anti-militancy operations in the state during Ramadhan but would retaliate if attacked.
The Hurriyat Conference (M) is observing the Martyrs Week from May 16 to May 21 to commemorate the martyrdom anniversaries of Mirwaiz Moulana Muhammad Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and martyrs of Hawal massacre of 21 May 1990.
Mirwaiz said Dehli must work on finding the reasons as to why the young educated boys are picking up arms.
“As far as the resolution of Kashmir issue is concerned there are only two ways. One is to involve all three parties to dispute India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir. The other is to implement international declarations,” he said, adding entire Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan is disputed.
He said several exercises and accords including Lahore and Tashkent have been tried in the past, but “bilateralism has failed”.
Mirwaiz said the “brutal killing” of 14-year-old school boy Umar Kumar in southern Kashmir, who was shrouded in his own school shirt while his classmates wailed and showered candies and flowers on his body, signifies the “epitome of Kashmir’s painful reality in the present times”.
“Kashmiris have already won a moral victory in this highly disproportionate war by rejecting fear and bravely confronting New Delhi’s systematic military repression to fight for rights,” the Hurriyat (M) chairman said.
“What the people are enduring in the course of the struggle is exemplary. It’s a measure both of our strength and belief in our goal and our deep commitment to it,” he said.
Mirwaiz said it is a fact that people of Kashmir have rejected fear and have become resilient.
“Government’s tactics of bullet and pellet, arresting people and leadership confining them in jails or houses, torture, use of NIA, repeated restrictions, curfews and harassment and pushing the youth to the wall have proved a complete failure,” he said.
“In fact all these moves have boomeranged. He said that besides resistance leadership, every segment of society including lawyers, traders, students, businessmen, employees, and teachers have to share the responsibility to take the movement forward,” he said.
He said that the killing of people, especially the “killing, maiming and blinding of our youth”, is becoming unbearable for the leadership.
“It is deeply disturbing and a matter of great concern. The leadership met a few days back to deliberate on it. A day’s call for hartal is not enough to register our protest and anger against such brutishness,” he said.
“Although it (hartal) is among the very few options available to us as all space stands choked, we will have to look for alternative and more effective ways of peaceful protests. The meaning and understanding of protest and resistance has to be extended,” Mirwaiz said.
He said it has to be reoriented and reframed through programs and initiatives and not just hartals.
“The leadership decided that there is a need for public participation in getting ideas and inputs and in decision making and implementation. All segments of public, including writers, intellectuals, traders, chambers of commerce, teachers, lawyers, doctors, student activists will be made a part of the broad-based mechanism,” he said.
The leadership has already framed a six-member committee to reach out to all segments of society for wider consultations and seeking feedback.
“I am sure our new strategy will bear fruit,” Mirwaiz said.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of seminar, JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik said he has come across the announcement made by Rajnath Singh that “nobody would be killed in the month of Ramadhan”.
“From 1947 to 1988 every Kashmiri struggle has been a peaceful. We took guns in 1988 and announced ceasefire in 1994. Till 2010 Kashmir struggle remained peaceful,” Malik said.
“But today, educated youth are picking up arms. The youth who are wielding guns were first harassed and tortured in jails and their mothers and sisters abused forcing them (youth) to take extreme step.”
He said both the political and the armed struggle were being waged for a “cause.”
“Human rights violations on one hand and militancy on the other. These are offshoots of the dispute. Unless you resolve the dispute that is Kashmir issue, problem would remain there,” Malik said.
“Let three parties to the dispute India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir sit on one table or let Delhi announce plebiscite. Unless these things are done, announcing a ceasefire for a month seems to be a cosmetic measure for us,” Malik said.
He said there has to be a “comprehensive plan as to what happens next?”
“Otherwise announcing ceasefire for a month looks like Delhi is showing mercy on Kashmiris,” Malik said.
Earlier, Malik in his address to seminar said that Shaheed-e-Millat and Shaheed-e-Hurriyat had made unity as their way of life whenever they faced serious threats and onslaughts from New Delhi.
“The present dispensation at New Delhi has decided to kill and thrash Kashmiris and to help them in this mission some columnists have started questioning joint resistance leadership on the pretext that it has yielded nothing,” Malik said.
He said the Operation All Out started by Delhi was not only against militants but against the political pro-freedom leadership too.
“When Ikhwanis were ruling the roost and were cause of fear among the people of Kashmir, pro-freedom leaders would still travel to villages to brief people about their plans,” he said.
“But for the past few years the entire leadership has been caged and now those who attend funerals of slain are booked under PSA. In such circumstances when Delhi’s intentions are clear the only option left with the Kashmiri people is to resist this onslaught with unity,” Malik said.
Senior leader Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, trade leaders that include Muhammad Yasin Khan, Javaid Ahmed Tenga and trade union leader Sampat Prakash also spoke on the occasion.