Srinagar, July 13: Sharmila Tagore, renowned actor, who is visiting Kashmir on a holiday, met Governor and First Lady at the Raj Bhavan.
Tagore shared with Governor and First Lady, her reminisces of the 1960s and 70s when she had visited the Valley on many occasions, when it was among the most preferred locations for film shooting. She also spoke about experiences during her current visit.
Governor and First Lady wished Ms. Tagore good health and happiness and requested her to visit Kashmir every year.
JKLF ‘rejects’ GoI’s ban on party
Srinagar, March 23: The acting chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Abdul Hameed Butt has rejected the Government of India’s ban on the party and termed it as “frustration and election stunt” of Narendra Modi.
“Such undemocratic and immoral acts can’t subdue our national resolve of freedom. Every citizen of J&K and each and every JKLF member will fight these acts with valour and passion,” Butt said in a statement issued to media.
Butt said: “The world knows that JKLF in 1987-88 with the inception of military struggle succeeded in highlighting and diverting the attention of the international community towards the UN recognized Kashmir issue. Later after the persuasion of the international community and Indian civil society, JKLF renounced its militant wing in 1994 and tread the path of peaceful and non-violent struggle for freedom and right of self-determination.”
He castigated authorities for “not sparing JKLF even after the announcement of the ceasefire”, saying that “forces killed more than 600 party cadres”.
“Our chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik survived 6 life attempts. India tried to push Yasin Malik and his associates back to militancy by not providing any political space but it was his strong commitment of peaceful struggle that he did not fell prey to Indian plan,” he said.
“Banning our party is not a new thing for us to face. In early nineties, the then Indian Home Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed through the then State governor Jagmohan banned JKLF and on our challenge, it was in 2001 when a tribunal of Supreme Court of India after marathon testimonies announced the banning of JKLF as unlawful and uncalled for. Soon after lifting the ban, our party led by its chairman Yasin Malik undertook most famous eighteen-month-long signature campaign, 116-day-long freedom march, hunger strikes, voluntary arrests and countless peaceful and non-violent protests,” Butt said.
Even the two prime ministers of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh met JKLF delegation led by Yasin Malik, Butt said adding that Yasin Malik and our worldwide party cadres represented the people of Kashmir at different international forums, met with world leaders and their representatives, attended international and regional conferences and deliberated with the representatives of international and regional human rights organizations during their visits to USA, UK, EU and other relevant places.
It was JKLF and its party chairman Yasin Malik who demonstrated and encouraged the citizens of Kashmir to tread to the path of non-violence, Butt said adding that Amnesty International in 1992 declared Yasin Malik as the prisoner of conscience when he was under Indian custody in Delhi Tihar Jail.
JKLF acting chairman castigated authorities for “mischievous grounds” on which the party was banned and termed them as “bogus and malafide”.
“Killing of Kashmiri pandits, raising funds, cases of killing people, terror funding and waging war against Indian State, are nothing but ill-designed cases to malign the leadership of JKLF and to force them to shun the path of freedom,” Butt said. “Arresting and shifting the party chairman Yasin Malik to Jammu jail under the draconian law of PSA, arresting and terrorizing the rest of the senior party leadership after the announcement of ban on JKLF and harassing the party members including the party sympathizers is solely being carried out by Modi government to lure the voters in his favour in forthcoming Indian parliamentary elections.”
Butt directed JKLF cadres to follow the programs being announced by the Joint Hurriyat Leadership to show unity at this “tough and crucial point” in time.
Delhi shrinking space for peaceful dissent; banning JKLF is wrong: Sajad
Srinagar, March 23: The People’s Conference Chairman, Sajad Gani Lone Saturday castigated Centre’s decision to proscribe Mohammad Yasin Malik led JKLF faction saying that highhanded approach will not achieve anything.
Sajad Lone while addressing a gathering to welcome Mian Javaid, a prominent political leader and uncle of NC’s stalwart Mian Altaf into the party fold said that “Mian sahab, with his experience and support, will further strengthen the party and our mission for change.”
Commenting on Centre’s decision to ban JKLF, Sajad asserted that JKLF has already renounced violence and termed New Delhi’s policy to ban JKLF and arresting its leaders ‘an exercise in futility and tantamount to suicide.’
“Delhi’s highhanded approach is shrinking space for peaceful dissent. Such tactics have been tried and tested in the past but nothing has been achieved out of it. JKLF has renounced violence in the 90’s and there is no need to ban them”, he added.
Reiterating his demand to revoke ban against JeI, PC chairman said that the spirit of democracy lies in resolving differences through dialogue and negotiations asserting that New Delhi must understand that muscular approach will further complicate things rather than solving them.
“Despite being banned and its prominent leaders arrested in the past, JeI has managed to construct hundreds of schools and educate thousands of children. Comparably, the two traditional parties, even after ruling for seven decades, haven’t been able to construct quality schools”, he added.
While launching a scathing attack on two dynasties, he said they rigged elections and despoiled the state. “They create hurdles for people who want to open private schools”, he said while comparing JeI’s social work with that of the performance of dynastic parties.
Meanwhile Ex Congress leader and social activist Choudhary Ata Mohammad Khatana, Mushtaq Ahmad Kasana, Mushtaq Ahmad Ganaie and Mumtaz Ahmad Khatana also joined Peoples Conference along with Mian Javaid.
Those who were present at the event included PC General Secretary Imran Reza Ansari, senior leader Abid Hussain Ansari, Srinagar Parliament Candidate Irfan Reza Ansari, Chief Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattoo, Spokesperson Adnan Ashraf Mir among others
LS Polls: Sagar criticizes clubbing of polling stations
Srinagar, March 23: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar expressed dismay over the clubbing of polling stations in the ensuing elections saying that reckless decision will lessen the chances of wide spread participation of people especially in the remote areas.
Addressing segment in charges and party functionaries of Srinagar-Bugdam Parliamentary Constituency here at party headquarters Nawa- e -Subha, party general secretary said, “Polling stations should be established at their previous places. How will people travel long distances to cast their votes? The climatic conditions during early and late spring periods are mostly rainy.”
While exuding confidence into the party functionaries and workers, Sagar said, “Forces as inimical to the special constitutional status of our state will try their level best to go to any extent to weaken the voice of Kashmiris. The forthcoming election is of great importance to us, it provides us with an opportunity to show how passionately we care for our identity and unique status,” adding, “The communal forces of the country have a singular agenda in mind, which is to weaken our special status. However it is up to people now to not allow them succeed in their designs. The communal forces will try to use government machinery; money and muscle to influence the elections. Their Trojan horses and cronies in the state especially in Kashmir will leave no stone unturned to divide the voice of people. However I am sure that people have made it a point not to fall prey to their evil designs. The forthcoming elections provide us an opportunity to clean the country and the state of the communal yolk.”
While referring to the bans and arrest spree in Kashmir, Sagar said, “JKLF has renounced violence in early nineties. The ban will inadvertently close the space for peaceful dissent. The very timing of banning various socio-political organizations casts a shadow on the intent of Present BJP led central government. National Conference from day one believes in the institution of dialogue and debate. We as a party principally don’t believe in banning ideologies and groups; however we believe that by putting up counter narrative through discussion, debate affords a way forward in this direction.”
While addressing the meet party’s provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani asked National Conference functionaries and workers to gear up and put in their efforts to make party stronger at grass roots. “It is the youth that has to shoulder the responsibility of guarding the unique status of the state. The ensuing general elections are of supreme importance because it will decide the recourse of the state and country at large for next half a decade. So it is rather imperative for us to have a voice that could raise our issues in the parliament, for that we have to strengthen the efforts of Dr. Sahab.”
“Today we have National Conference versus all those forces as are hell bent to destroy our special character. The need of the hour demands us to forge unity and trounce the machinations of all those forces as are contriving to destroy our special status and unique identity,” he added.
“Sher-e-Kashmir used to say that Srinagar s a fortress of National Conference. We have to ensure and put in all our efforts to hoist the flag of National Conference in the ensuing Lokh Sabha and legislative assembly elections.”
Senior leader Mian Altaf while exuding confidence into the workers said that there is no substitute to National Conference in the state, he said, “Parties that are mushrooming every now, are here to implement the agenda of those forces as are inimical to the interests and integrity of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We as the oldest dispensation of the state owe a sense of responsibility to all. We will continue to work for all sections of our state. Our idea of development is inclusive.”
Among others senior leaders Mubarak Gul, Ali Muhammad Dar, Pir Afaq, Salman Ali Sagar, Irfan Shah, and Haji Abdul Ahad Dar were also present in the meet which discussed issues pertaining to election strategy, and campaign.
Meanwhile general secretary condemned gutting of several houses and cowshed following an encounter in Shopian the other day in which several cattle died. Party functionaries including Shabir Kullay, Sheikh Rafi, Nisaar Ahmad urged the incumbent administration to recompense the losses to the effected people. “The cattle are the prized procession of any rural family, such incident will inadvertently affect the economy of villages,” they said.