Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik Thursday hit out at army Chief General Bipin Rawat saying the Kashmir struggle was peaceful and indigenous in nature.
They also trashed the chargesheet presented by NIA against separatist leaders, leading businessman and two youth including a photojournalist.
Addressing reporters on phone at Mirwaiz’s Nageen residence, Geelani, who is under house arrest since long time, said Kashmir struggle was peaceful and right to self-determination is a birthright of people.
He was reacting to army chief’s statement that Kashmiris can’t achieve what they want.
“We want to tell Indian army Chief that freedom is not only our wish but a right. Kashmiris have not decided to remain with India. It is a forcible army occupation in Kashmir and we will continue our fight. We have a strong belief that we will achieve our goal as we are on the right path,” Geelani said.
He said army chief‘s mixing militancy and peaceful struggle for freedom was wrong.
“Militancy has its own environment. Militancy has its own style and as far as our struggle is concerned, we are peacefully continuing our fight,” Geelani said adding, “We are not using guns but peacefully continuing our struggle with trust.”
He said army chief’s remarks were reflection of its policy that it has adopted for militancy.
Asserting that J&K’s accession with India was temporary and right to self-determination was a birthright of people, Geelani said, “Kashmir is a disputed territory and our struggle will continue till right to self-determination is granted to us”.
“We want India to remain happy and enjoy its independence. But Kashmir is disputed territory and India should address the issue through political means and not by military might. We want peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue,” he said.
He, however, stressed for implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir.
Hitting out at army chief’s remarks, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said Kashmir movement was peaceful and indigenous in nature and that they wouldn’t surrender to the Delhi’s pressure tactics.
The joint leadership also termed the charge-sheet filed by NIA against Kashmiri separatist leaders, businessman and two youth as baseless, false and concocted.
“The 2016 unrest was an outcome of Burhan Wani’s killing because he was popular among people. He was killed by army and not by Pakistan,” Malik said adding the separatist leaders have “literally been kidnapped and not arrested.”
Geelani said those arrested in NIA case have not committed any crime.
“They have been held on baseless charges,” he said and demanded release of all prisoners from Tihar, Jammu and Kashmir jails.
Malik said January 26 would be observed as “black day” in the Valley.
He termed the long house arrest of Geelani as a “cruel state of affairs.”
“Army has committed many massacres in Valley but that has not end the Kashmir movement. If Indian people prior to 1947 had the mindset of Rawat, then India would not have got independence,” JKLF chairman said.
He said in order to break the will of people, army was subjecting people in Kashmir to humiliation by calling them out of their homes in sub-zero temperatures. “Efforts are being made to defame the Kashmir movement.”
“Doest Rawat want to scare us by repeating the past when separatist leaders were being attacked and targeted. We will be proud if we die while continuing this movement,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said effort to align the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination with terrorism is propaganda to distort facts and mislead people in India and outside.
He said Kashmir is an internationally acknowledged dispute and a humanitarian problem.
“The Kashmir movement was indigenous and peaceful in nature and militancy was one aspect of it. UN resolutions calling for granting right to self determination to people of Kashmir are pending,” he said.
The Hurriyat (M) chairman said equating Kashmir’s political struggle with terrorism is deception.
Referring to Rawat’s statement, he said, “It is an open admission of occupation. It is admission of what people of Kashmir want and how military force is used to prevent them from doing so”.
“Kashmir has been handed over to military by New Delhi to take the call on how to handle it and that’s why army chief was making frequent statement,” Mirwaiz said.
He said army chief has himself admitted that Kashmiris aspire and desire something but “Delhi would crush the genuine aspirations of people through its military might.”
“Leadership is duty bound to take the ongoing struggle to its logical goal and won’t surrender come what may,” he asserted.
Army chief had on Wednesday said that people in Jammu and Kashmir were “tired of militancy as they have realised that it cannot give them what they want.”