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Mirwaiz conditionally welcomes New Delhi’s offer to talk

Srinagar, Jun 08: Chairman Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Friday said the offer for talks by the government of India was a welcome step “if it is due to a change in policy”.
Addressing the congregation at historic Jamia Masjid here, he said the leadership were not in a hurry for talks but would “deliberate and discuss” over it.
“We will welcome the offer for talks if it is due to the change in the policy. The India is gradually making a U-turn and it is due to the sacrifices and resolve shown by Kashmiris, which forced them to take such step,” Mirwaiz said.
“Is this change in policy and approach or just change in circumstances? Did their hearts really melt that now they are ready for talks with Kashmiris and Pakistan? Let us see what their approach will be,” he said.
Hurriyat (M) Chairman, however, blamed India for changing their statements over Kashmir frequently.
“They talk one language here and another in New Delhi,” he said.
Mirwaiz said the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee had even realised that Kashmir issue was not related to development and package “but an issue of sentiments and aspiration of people”.
“Four years before when BJP took over the reins, we thought they will adopt the policy of Atal Bihari Vajpayee by considering talks with Pakistan and Kashmiris,” he said.
“I remember when he (Atal Bihari) last time visited here and said economic packages won’t work. He accepted the reality that Kashmir issue was related to the sentiments of people.”
He said the current government, by opposing the talks, entirely changed its policies against Hurriyat leadership and Pakistan.
“Every tactic was applied to suppress the people of Kashmir and weaken the movement. At economic level, GST was implemented and in courts Article 370 and 35-A was discussed, SARFAESI Act, creation of Sainik colonies on the pattern of Israel was decided by the government,” Mirwaiz said.
“Hurriyat leaders have been in jail for a year now. They stopped talks at the Foreign Secretary level. NIA was brought in and then propaganda was started on TV to establish connection between money, Pakistan and stone throwers.”
Mirwaiz said the local politicians here falsely take credit of changing situation on ground in the valley.
“The local collaborators continued to implement New Delhi’s anti-Kashmir policies. They follow the orders of their bosses like yes man,” he said.
He said even the Indian military has realised that force was not a solution to Kashmir.
“Not operation all-out, but operation wipe-out was started to kill Kashmiris. In south Kashmir especially, 250 youth were killed last year. Even their military itself has realised there was always a reaction against the force used against the people. Their Generals now clearly say that they won’t win people through might,” he said.
The Hurriyat (M) Chairman said the unity among people was most required to “take the movement at its logical end”.
“We have a unity among people of Kashmir, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Kargil, Rajouri, Banihal, Bhaderwah, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Who doesn’t want development and progress but that is only possible when peace is established in the region,” he said.
“When Kashmir issue is resolved our youth will grow. The government, which is saying that they cared for youth is sending them to graves.”
He said many pro-freedom leaders were languishing in different jails for over 25 years now.