Srinagar: Chairman of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq along with Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik addressing a joint press conference,at Mirwaiz Residence in Srinagar on Thursday. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie

SRINAGAR: Terming National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) charge-sheet against Kashmiris and Army Chief’s recent statement as “threats”, the Joint Hurriyat Leadership on Thursday said the Government of India’s “military power” will not cow down them from carrying forward the “ongoing freedom struggle”.
Joint Hurriyat, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik, addressed a press conference hours after the NIA filed a charge-sheet against 12 persons, for “conspiring to wage war” against the government by carrying out “secessionist activities” in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Joint Hurriyat termed it a “kidnapping” by government of India.
In his telephonic address, Geelani, who was under house arrest, termed the recent India Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s statement by linking “Kashmir political struggle with extremism far from truth”.
“He wants to link it with extremism and kill Kashmiris. We will continue our peaceful struggle till gets freedom,” he said.
Indian Army Chief’s had said that people in Kashmir have realised that it is “very difficult to secede from India” and they are also getting tired of militancy.
He laid emphasis on the campaign to bring back the “radicalised Kashmiri youth into the mainstream”. “This will put an end to the menace of militancy in the state,” General Rawat had said.
While Geelani said that Kashmiris were fighting a “political struggle” for right to self determination. “We will never be part of India. We are fighting against the India occupation,” the octogenarian Hurriyat leader said.
Terming “freedom as Kashmiris right”, he said that accession with India was “temporary”.
“India took the Kashmir issue to the UN. Eighteen resolutions have been passed and signed both India and Pakistan recognizing the status of the state as disputed,” he said.
He said that Kashmiris were not taking any part of India. “We are not part of India although we wish for its betterment.”
He claimed that NIA booked Kashmiris on “fabricated” charges. “They did no crime. Nothing has been proved against them,” the Hurriyat leader said, demanding releasing of all political prisoners.
He appealed people to observe shutdown on January 26 against the “Indian occupation in Kashmir”.
He said statement given by leaders in India were an indication they want to turn India and JK into a “Hindu country”. We should follow teachings of Islam and Quran,” he added.
Mirwaiz, who addressed the presser at his Nigeen residence along with Malik, said that there was a “persistent campaign” on part of GOI and national media to align Kashmir “struggle with terrorism”. “Our struggle is political, peaceful and humane,” he said.
Referring to Army Chief statement, he said that government of India wanted to link “Kashmiris peaceful struggle with terrorism” to mislead people.
“General Rawat statement is a submission what people of JK want and majority wants Azaadi,” Mirwaiz said.
He claimed that New Delhi has handed over Kashmir to Army. “Kashmiris won’t be cowed down by his statements and by NIA arrests. GOI is pursuing military policy to silence voices of Kashmiris,” the Hurriyat leader said, while calling Kashmir an “internationally accepted dispute and indigenous in nature”.
“Militancy is one aspect of the struggle. But efforts are being made to mislead people. General Rawat wants to link our political struggle with terrorism to mislead people,” he said.
Mirwaiz said they won’t be “scared” and “cowed down” through “intimations” of New Delhi. “That is why charge sheet has been kept open,” the Hurriyat leader, said.
He said that New Delhi’s “suppressive” policy was forcing Kashmiri youth to pick up guns.
He said that NIA has mentioned Jamat-d-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed’s name in charge sheet to sensationalize the issue.
The JKLF Chief Mohammad Yasin Malik said that General Rawat wants his soldiers to “beat up Kashmiris”. “He wants to scare us and kill us,” he said, while calling “struggle as religion” for Kashmiris.
He said that NIA has filed chargesheet that Pakistan sponsored 2016 unrest.
“The 2016 unrest began after Burhan Wani was martyred. Did Pakistan kill him?”Malik asked.
He said that when people were getting killed then JRL issued protest calendars. “NIA arrested these people for fuelling 2016 unrest. Protest calendars were issued by Geelani, Mirwaiz, and me. Then we three are main culprits and should have been arrested,” he asked.
He said the arrested ones had no role in agitation. “Most of them were in jails,” he said. “It is purely a political kidnapping. It is a blackmailing and threatening us that we should talk to GOI’s interlocutor. You started operation all out in 1995 but failed and repeating same but won’t succeed,” he claimed.
He said it was for the first time since 1931 that Jamia Masjid Srinagar was locked so many times in the last two years.
“We want democratic rights but India gave us graveyards. India remembers Jallianwala Bagh massacre but so many massacres have taken place in a small part (Kashmir),” he added.

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