Elections Have No Bearing On Kashmir Issue: Mirwaiz

SRINAGAR — Back home after facing questioning by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi in a funding case, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told a Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid here that the separatists would not change their stand on Kashmir issue due to coercion.

Mirwaiz said that elections would have no bearing on the 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,” he said, adding, “We will not change our stand because of this policy of use of force or coercion.

Addressing the people who had gathered for Friday prayers at the mosque, he said Kashmir is a political issue which has to be resolved politically.

“Governments will come and go, but the basic issue will remain there till it is not resolved,” he said.

The Hurriyat Conference chairman said and the people of Kashmir and the armed forces of India and Pakistan were “getting consumed” in the conflict, but New Delhi “is not taking any initiative” aimed at resolving the issue.

The Mirwaiz returned to the valley on Thursday after spending three days in New Delhi where he was questioned by the NIA in connection with a case related to alleged funding of groups and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said recently the EU parliamentarians had also asked the Government of India to ban the use of pellet guns. The scars left behind by the lethal pellet guns in 2016 are still afresh as many youth were killed and blinded yet it is unfortunate that the use of pellets continues unabated in Kashmir with the result that a budding flower was crushed forever, he said.

Mirwaiz also criticised the ban on civilian traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway for twice a week calling it an “autocratic” decision by the rulers. He said the ban is leading to immense hardship and difficulties for the people.

He said that pressure was mounted on leadership through ED and NIA to silence the voices seeking resolution of the Kashmir issue even as his house was raided and many notices were sent to him.

Mirwaiz said his life and Hurriyat’s stand is an open book and there is nothing to hide. “APHC believes that Kashmir is a lingering political issue that has to be resolved. There was no other alternative than its resolution. Kashmir is yearning for a peaceful resolution since 1947 and today Kashmir’s fourth generation is getting consumed demanding the peaceful solution of the issue,” he said.

Mirwaiz said that the pulpit of Jamia Masjid represents the aspirations of people of Kashmir who have sacrificed a lot for its peaceful resolution.

Mirwaiz said that on every stage, he has been stating that Kashmir issue was a political reality and nobody can turn their back on it.

Kashmir issue doesn’t pertain to any one particular party, organization or a leader but it was a people’s issue and all political parties of the entire J&K endorse that, Mirwaiz said.

He said India and Pakistan fought many wars on Kashmir in which thousands of soldiers died on both sides but nothing was achieved and yet again the armies of both nations are at loggerheads.

It is clear that through military approach the nature of Kashmir issue cannot be altered and it’s high time that the political measures are taken to address the issue, he said.

Mirwaiz said “intimidation or harassment” cannot make him change his political stand on Kashmir which is based on reality.

Any government that comes to power in India or Pakistan has to save themselves from engaging into a full-fledged war and the only way-out is to take concrete steps for the resolution of the vexed issue of Kashmir, Mirwaiz said adding that he will continue to represent the people’s aspirations and emotions.  

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