Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said the big U-turn by New Delhi on its “rigid stand on dialogue” is result of sacrifices of Kashmiri youth and asserted that separatist leadership was in no hurry to respond to Delhi’s dialogue offer but would respond after due deliberations.
“If this new approach of New Delhi is result of “change in policy” or “change in circumstances”, we welcomed it earlier and will continue to welcome. But we are not in hurry. Hurriyat Conference and Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) are not in hurry. We are keenly watching the political developments,” Mirwaiz said while addressing Friday congregations on Jumat-ul-Vida at Jamia Masjid today.
He said only time would tell what New Delhi’s approach will be.
“But as of now the fact is that they say one thing in Kashmir and its opposite in Delhi. The Government of India (GoI) says one thing and its ministers say the other thing. We are not in hurry, but if it is change in policy we will welcome it and we had already welcomed it,” Mirwaiz said.
He said the credit for pushing New Delhi to shun its “adamant attitude” and talk about dialogue goes to youth of Kashmir, who sacrificed for the ‘cause of freedom’.
The Hurriyat (M) chairman said they kept on saying that Kashmir issue could be solved in two ways– either by implementing UN resolutions on Kashmir or India, Pakistan and Kashmiris should sit and solve Kashmir.
“The situation in J&K has worsened in last four years and government is targeting leadership, youth and their houses. This kind of brutality has not been seen in last 30 years,” he said.
Mirwaiz said when Narendra Modi led BJP government took to power four years ago, Hurriyat had felt that the government would follow former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy.
“Vajpayee spoke to Pakistan and Kashmiris. I remember when he came to Kashmir, he said economic package is not its solution although he had also announced economic packages. Vajpayee had admitted that Kashmir is an issue of aspirations and sentiments of its people and not of packages,” he said.
The Hurriyat (M) chairman said the Modi government changed its policy and put curbs on the leadership and closed all doors of dialogue and even stopped the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan.
“This government waged war on all the fronts — diplomatic, economic, political, legal and military. On legal front they started fiddling with Article 35A and Article 370; on military level they tried to build Sainik colonies and waged war on people. On economic front they used GST. They used conspiracies on all fronts. They used NIA to instill fear among Hurriyat leaders,” he said.
He said after their war of “propaganda” on Hurriyat, Delhi started “Operation All Out. It is basically Operation ‘Wipe Out’ in Kashmir. Delhi’s local collaborators supported their anti-Kashmir policies and signed all their orders”.
Without naming anyone, Mirwaiz said now these people say that they have brought change. “The U-turn made by New Delhi is not by someone’s efforts but result of sacrifices of people of Kashmir”.
“Pushing New Delhi to shun its rigid stand is the success of those youth, who sacrificed their lives for freedom, for right to self determination,” he said adding, “Through their sacrifices, Kashmiri youth have made India to say that they want to talk now. Call this change in policy or change in circumstances. Have their hearts changed all of a sudden? Is it that all of a sudden they started soft approach to talk to Pakistan and Kashmiris as well”.
Lauding sacrifices of Kashmiri youth, he said, “Our students, Kashmiri diaspora and social media warriors started campaign for freedom on every platform”.
“If it is change in approach or change in circumstances only time will tell. We are not in hurry. At this crucial moment we realize that we have to maintain our unity. This unity pushed India to change its policy,” he said.
Mirwaiz said as the flip-flop continues, what they are observing is not so much a change of heart of the rulers but rather a change of strategy forced upon them by the change in circumstances.
“The policy of extreme repression was pursued as a state policy since BJP came to power in New Delhi four years ago, which was a complete departure from the way previous BJP regime led by Vajpayee. All this was pursued in partnership with willing local collaborators, who in order to stay in power provided a buffer for these polices and helped carry them out, backstabbing those who had reposed some faith in them in electing them,” Mirwaiz said.
He said the harsh policy has failed and the resultant international pressure that we see today has forced them to “soften” their stand. “It’s the change in circumstance rather than change in heart”.
Mirwaiz said what brought this change in circumstances is the persistence and commitment of the people to their struggle for asserting their right to decide their destiny and rejecting military presence of india.
“It is the blood and sacrifice of life of our youth, their zeal and courage to stand up to the might of the third largest military power in the world which is no small feat. It’s this commitment, this fearlessness of the people in the face of extreme repression that has forced GoI and its Army Generals to talk of lose -lose for both sides if military option is pursued further. It’s not a small achievement that the determination of our youth made the world’s third largest military might admit this,” he said.
Terming it as “victory of peoples perseverance, their faith and their patience despite utmost repression, humiliation, harassment and intimidation”, Mirwaiz said GoI has failed in subduing the Kashmiris.
“In fact repression has added to the anger and alienation, forcing many among the youth mostly educated and well settled boys like Riyaz to sadly take to gun. Every youth in Kashmir has shown resilience to occupation and rejection to subjugation in some way or other. Their deep connect with the struggle for self-determination in visible everywhere. Whether protesting on streets, or in their educational institutions or participating in funerals of martyrs or the cyber world or in social media,” he said.
Calling for unity, Mirwaiz said that from Doda, Poonch, Rajouri to Kashmir to Kargil and to Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) to Gilgit Baltistan the voice of people is strong.
“India is accepting that reality that the hard stick used won’t break our resolve,” he said.
Mirwaiz said everyone wants prosperity and development but this is not possible without delivering justice and peace and that guarantee lies in solution of Kashmir.
“Our youth will prosper once Kashmir is solved and black laws are revoked,” he said.
He questioned New Delhi for maintaining silence on revocation of black laws.
“It is the fourth generation of Kashmiris which are in the battle field. I am saying on behalf of Hurriyat and JRL that we represent aspirations of people and will continue to do so till Kashmir is not resolved as per the wishes and aspirations of its people,” he concludes.
After prayers, clashes erupted between forces and youth at Nowhatta area. The youth took to streets and held a rally in solidarity with Palestinians. They were chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.