Won’t change my stand on Kashmir: Mirwaiz

Srinagar, Apr 12: A day after he returned to Srinagar following his three-day-long questioning by National Investigation Agency (NIA) at its headquarters in New Delhi, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said he told his interrogators that Kashmir issue has to be resolved politically and not by military power.
Addressing the Friday congregational gathering at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz said that government of India was resorting to “tactics to pressurise Kashmiri leadership so that we change our stand”.
“Several agencies like Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, NIA, are there to pressurise Kashmir leadership. They are imposing curbs, arresting leaders, and slapping PSAs. We won’t succumb by these pressure tactics to change our principal stand on Kashmir dispute,” he said.
“My stand remains the same. Kashmir dispute has to be resolved politically and not militarily. I don’t say one thing in Kashmir, another thing in Jammu. I said the same in New Delhi that Kashmir is a political issue and military approach won’t solve it. We are not scared of threats by New Delhi,” he said, as pro-freedom slogans resonated inside the Masjid.
The Mirwaiz said that elections would have no bearing on Kashmir issue and it needs to be addressed.
“It is our policy that Kashmir issue has to be resolved. If not today, but tomorrow, there has to be a peaceful solution to the issue. There is no option before India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership than to address the issue and elections in either of these countries should not mean that the issue can be put on a back burner,” he said.
Stating that his life was an “open book”, Mirwaiz said, “I always stand by my principal and did not hide anything. My home was raided and some documents were seized. But they did not find anything wrong against me. Still we decided to go to Delhi.”
He said that Kashmir issue was to be resolved by dialogue, which is pending since 1947. “We (Hurriyat) represent the sentiments of Kashmiris. People are our strength. This is not any leader’s or party’s movement. India, Pakistan, and people of JK have to resolve this dispute.”
Mirwaiz was quizzed by the NIA sleuths in an alleged militancy funding case. He had earlier refused to go to Delhi, citing security concerns and “hostile atmosphere”.
The NIA had, however, in its third summon to Mirwaiz assured that his security concerns will be taken care off.
Mirwaiz claimed that Indian political parties were blaming each other for creation of Kashmir issue. “But this is an internationally recognized dispute. We even gave suggestions and preparedness but government of India did not initiate any process for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” he said.
Mirwaiz also slammed the centre for using pellet guns in Kashmir. “Situation in Kashmir is deteriorating and anti-Kashmiri policies increase with each day. Yesterday a class 7th student was killed by pellet guns. Thousands of Kashmiris have been victims of pellet guns despite countries across the world raising cry against it,” he added.

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