Malik to Govt: ‘Don’t force youth to pick up gun’

SRINAGAR: Advising New Delhi to honour the peaceful movement of Kashmir, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik Sunday said the new generation of Kashmir is being forced to pick up guns as they are continuously being harassed and suppressed on the one or the other pretext. Malik was addressing people at gathered at Maisuma soon after he concluded his 48-hour long token hunger strike on Sunday.

He blamed India for advertently pushing the youth of Kashmir to wall and compelling them to restart armed struggle.

Yasin Malik said after suffering for generations Kashmir’s started an armed struggle in 1988. In 1994, the separatists laid down their arms after the international community including European Union, Britain, Indian Civil Society and especially the US promised him and other Kashmiri leaders of their help in the resolution of the Kashmir issue if Kashmiris turned their struggle into a non-violent movement.

Malik said the unilateral ceasefire of 1994 was a very unpopular decision at that time when movement was at its peak. He said 600 of his companions were butchered, and he too was arrested multiple times after the Kashmiri’s opted for non-violence.

“We were promised that we will be given proper space. But where is the space. We are being pushed to wall. Our youth are being detained and scores of Kashmiri people have been awarded life imprisonment. I want to ask Government of India why it is forcing youth to pickup guns again,” Malik said adding that India should understand that those who tried to overpower Afghanistan by power are now talking about peace with Taliban.

Malik said that government has itself admitted in a reply under RTI that about 5000 Kashmiri youth were arrested between 2009 and 2010. “Government forces killed 72 of our youth in cold blood in 2008, 45 in 2009 and same was repeated in 2010 when we lost our 124 youth.,” Malik said adding that our youth who are getting killed now in encounters had been forced to pick up guns as government used to harass them and their families. 

 “The victims who are sitting along with me here represent the agony and pain every Kashmiri has and is suffering from. I hope that wisdom, humanity and democratic behaviour will prevail and our protest today in which hundreds of victims are participating will succeed in wakening the conscience of Indian rulers, world community and civil societies,” Malik hoped.

Malik said, “We cannot keep on watching this repression and do nothing. We are ready to even sacrifice our lives for this just and honorable cause and will not shy away from any kind of sacrifice.”

Before his address Malik took a glass of juice from little Irshika daughter of Showkat Ahmad Khan (serving life imprisonment in Delhi’s Tihar Jail) and ended his 48 hour long hunger strike. 

JKLF leaders Noor Mohammad Kalwal, Showkat Ahmad Bakhshi, Javed Ahmad Mir (chairman JKLF (H)) and Muslim Conference leader Shabir Ahmad Dar along with hundreds of other leaders and victims ended their fast at the hands of Parveena Ahnagar, advocate Zafar Ahmad Shah, journalist Ved Bhasin and father of late JKLF leader Ishfaq Majeed Wani.

Despite heavy downpour, hundreds of people from different walks of life kept visiting the camp. Among those who addressed the protest program today included prominent lawyer Zafar Ahmad  Shah, Prof Noor Bilal, advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, trade union leader Muntazir Mohi-ud –Din, journalists, Ved Bhasin, Yousef Jameel, separatist leader Abdul Aziz Dar alias General Musa, Yasmeen Raja (Muslim Khawateen Markaz), prominent physicians Dr Allaqband , Dr Zafar Mehdi, Dr. Javed Iqbal, columnist Abdul Majid Zargar, businessman Kumar Jee Wanchoo besides others.

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