MIRWAIZ SPEAKS AT JAMIA MASJID DELHI Urges People To Have Rational View Of Kashmir Issue

published 2/24/2012 8:24:00 PM by ANIL ANAND
New Delhi, Feb 24: Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that the people of India should stop viewing the Kashmir issue through the prism of “Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan” and it was wrong to think that everything happening in the Valley was Pak orchestrated.

Addressing the Friday congregation at the historic Jamia Masjid Delhi, he said that efforts should be made at all levels to convey a true picture of Kashmir and the new scenario that has emerged there during the past three years. In this regard, he pointed out that the complete shift in the situation from violent to the non-violent one during the past three years was a significant step.

He cautioned that this shift should not be misread and serious efforts be made for resolution of Kashmir problem. “The change from violent to a non-violent mode makes it incumbent upon New Delhi and other stakeholders to address the genuine desires and aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” he added.

The Mirwaiz reiterated that Kashmir is a political and human problem and needed a political resolution. “Consider it as a human issue rather than viewing it as a geographical or a territorial one,” he observed.

The Hurriyat chief said that the new-found warmth between India and Pakistan was a positive sign. However, the two countries should not lose sight of Kashmir or ignore the problem while cementing their bilateral relations, he felt.
Focusing on the issue of human rights violations, the Mirwaiz said that he was saddened by the fact that acts against humanity fail to evoke much response from people at large. “The silence in Indian public opinion on this front is criminal,” he added.

He castigated both the Centre and the J&K Government for doing nothing to act against those violating human rights. “Even the elected Government in the state has become a mute spectator to human rights violations,” he said and demanded that the state Assembly should pass a resolution condemning these violations.

The Mirwaiz alleged that there was a “tacit” understanding between the Centre and the state on the issue of withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Under the cover of the Act even those committing violations are not being punished, he further added.

Alleging total “inaction” on the part of New Delhi to resolve Kashmir issue, he demanded some steps should be taken to win the confidence of the people. We understand that the process will have to be gradual. But that elusive first step should have been taken by now,” he said.


In another significant development, the moderate Hurriyat has decided to shift its focus to the economic dimension of the Kashmir issue also as its leadership felt that the political and economic factors were inter-related and crucial. As part of the new strategy, the amalgam has decided to look towards Central Asia which its leaders feel had historic relations with Kashmir and the region could play a greater role in the Valley’s economic development.

As part of this exercise, the Mirwaiz and his aides have already opened channels of communications with Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and other countries in the region in addition to the South Asian countries. “I was keen to reach out to these countries through there Embassies here. We have already met senior officials of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and the process will continue in a phased manner during the next few weeks,” Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir.

He indicated that the move has borne out of a new thinking within the Hurriyat that the amalgam should formulate its own economic policy on Kashmir. It will also entail focusing on how to optimally use J&K’s natural resources for its betterment with greater thrust on tourism and trade.

Pointing to the ongoing cross border trade between India and Pakistan, the Mirwaiz said that it has been rendered just a symbolic gesture. “Real trade should happen so that the state is benefited from it,” he felt.


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