Srinagar, New Delhi’s present approach towards Kashmir and its people seems to be almost similar to what it was in mid-90s and only a strong and collective resistance can defeat “its onslaught”, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik said on Wednesday. He also said it’s time to remove tags like “hardliner” or “moderate” in the resistance camp and that the contribution of every person associated with the freedom struggle, one way or the other, needs to be applauded and appreciated.
Speaking at a seminar organised by Hurriyat Conference (M) in connection with ‘Hafta-e-Shahadat’ (martyrs’ week) at its Rajbagh headquarters here, Malik said ever since the pro-freedom leadership forged unity, New Delhi is “feeling unnerved and efforts are on to break it.”
“In 1995, the then government at New Delhi only knew one language—to kill people, beat families of militants and those who give shelter to militants. Whosoever would talk about freedom movement would face the wrath of forces,” Malik said.
The seminar “Resolution of Kashmir issue—Prelude to Peace, Guarantee to Stability” was moderated by Hurriyat’s head of Human Rights wing, Abdul Manan Bukhari.
The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and his media Advisor Advocate Shahidul Islam couldn’t attend the seminar as they were placed under house arrest. The seminar was, however, presided over by senior Hurriyat (M) leader Prof Abdul Gani Bhat.
“Entire focus has to be on fighting the repression collectively,” Malik said.
Citing example of two youth Moulvi Bilal and Zubair Turray, who have joined the militant ranks, the JKLF chief said: “It happened because of the torture these youth faced at the hands of youth. Zubair was booked under PSA and lodged in jail for four consecutive years, forcing him to pick up arms.”
Malik said it is because of the state’s “anti-youth policy” that young boys are picking up arms in Kashmir.
“Majority of youth who have joined armed groups were part of peaceful protests in 2008. But they were subjected to worst form of atrocities, leaving them with no option than join the militant ranks.”
Quoting a foreword of former US president Bill Clinton in Nelson Mandela’s book “Long Walk to Freedom”, the JKLF chief said when Clinton sought reasons from Mandela as to why there was armed rebellion in South Africa, Mandela replied “it was always up to the oppressor to choose the nature of struggle of the oppressed.”
He said that pro-freedom leaders were relevant only because of the freedom movement.
“Had there been no movement, there would have been no leaders,” he said.
He reiterated the call of joint resistance leaders for Eidgah march on May 21 and urged people to observe complete shutdown on the day. He condemned the authorities’ decision of barring Mirwaiz from attending the seminar.
Speaking on the occasion, Raja Mehraj-udin Kalwal, who was representing Hurriyat Conference (G) led by Syed Ali Geelani, said the leadership is following a united goal and under one slogan of Right to Self Determination and “this time there is no confusion.”
Moulana Masroor Abbas Ansari paid glowing tributes to Shaheed-e-Milat, martyrs of Hawal and Shaheed-e-Hurriyat, and said “oppression and forcible control of Kashmir” won’t last long and “time will soon come when Delhi will have to vacate Kashmir.”
For the first time, Hurriyat (M) had invited students and youth activists to participate and speak in the seminar.
From the Islamic University, Inamul Haq and youth activist Touseef Mir spoke on the occasion and talked about various ways and means to be adopted for garnering international support towards Kashmir resolution. They also underlined the role of youth for Kashmir resolution.