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.
Home Minister Amit Shah reviews situation in J&K
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
During the two-hour long meeting, also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba among others, the home minister was given a detailed presentation on the prevailing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly along the International Border and the Line of Control.
The home minister took stock of the situation and was briefed about the steps taken to maintain peace along border areas as well as in the Valley, a security official said.
Lieutenant General K J S Dhillon, General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps, which looks after the Kashmir Valley, had recently said there have been infiltration attempts from across the border.
SC allows Azad to visit J&K
The Supreme Court of India on September 16 allowed senior Indian National Congress leader and former Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to visit his home state.
The apex court allowed Azad to visit Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag and Jammu.
However, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said Azad will not be allowed to “make any speeches or hold any public rally as per his own submissions”.
Azad had moved SC seeking permission to visit his home state to enquire about the well-being of his family.
Azad’s petition was taken up by a bench of CJI Gogoi, and Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer on September 16.
There are formidable reasons, says SC on J&K curbs
The Supreme Court asked the government to take all steps to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir but stressed there were “formidable reasons” for the restrictions imposed by the government.
A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi which took up a bunch of petitions on the scrapped special status for the state and its impact, also accepted a request from Ghulam Nabi Azad to travel to four districts to reach out to people and ascertain their problems.
Chief Justice Gogoi also responded to a complaint that people weren’t able to approach the high court, offered to ascertain the situation and if need be, even travel to the state.
Justice SA Bobde, one of the three judges on the bench, responded to the Attorney General’s outline of the situation in Kashmir: “These are formidable reasons. A terrible state of affairs”.
“We trust you will endeavour to establish the situation in Kashmir,” the judge told the Centre, asking the government to file an affidavit within two weeks.
Venugopal rejected the contention by journalist Anuradha Bhasin about curbs on media in Kashmir, asserting that all newspapers were being published without any impediment.
At one point when the judges asked a petitioner why he didn’t approach the high court, the bench was told that the complete shutdown prevented people from reaching the court. Chief Justice Gogoi took serious note of the argument and said he would speak with the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice to ascertain the facts and if necessary, travel to the state.