While commenting upon the controversial statement of Narendra Modi’s cabinet minister Dr Jitendra Singh over the Article 370 and reaction of National Conference and PDP thereafter, chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Geelani said that even if Article 370 is only present in official papers and it has been eroded by New Delhi with the help of mainstream Kashmiri leaders but the presence of this article in the Indian constitution is a proof that the Jammu and Kashmir is not any UP or Punjab like state of India rather it is a disputed region and its final decision of settlement is still pending.
In a statement on Thursday, Geelani said that actually New Delhi wants to finish it entirely so that they can make a large scale demographic change here and they want to change the Muslim majority of Jammu and Kashmir into the minorities and for implementing their dangerous plan of grabbing our land on Israel pattern, they want to eliminate this last hurdle of their way.
“Any attempt made to abrogate this documentary proof of Kashmiri disputed nature will be opposed tooth and nail and if it happens then Inshallah our freedom struggle will enter a new era and whole nation will unanimously fight against the Indian occupation under a single banner and it will be a decisive phase of this movement,” Geelani said.
Terming the discussion over the article 370 as ‘meaningless and wastage of time’, Geelani said, “if Indian governments want any discussion then they should discuss the pros and cons of lingering of Kashmir dispute and they should analyze that what Indian people gained or lost in 67 years of military occupation over Kashmir?”
Geelani said that the provision of Article 370 in Indian constitution has its own history and the room for the appointment of Prime Minister instead of Chief Minister and President instead of Governor and its own Supreme court and election commission was kept because the Indian army was here to maintain peace and India was bound by its promise to withdraw its army from Kashmir after situation improves and Kashmiris will be given a chance to decide their future independently.
“Article 370 was introduced to differentiate the state of Jammu and Kashmir from the other states of India till the final decision and it was promised that the Kashmir will be an autonomous state except defense, external affairs and finance and it will not be recognized as part of Indian federal government unlike other states,” he said.
He further said that India backtracked from her promise and is still holding Kashmir merely by its military might. “Instead of discussing article 370, Indian government and its people should discuss that have they conquered Kashmir after the long and hard 67 years? Or have they been successful in winning the hearts of the people of Kashmiris? They should analyze that have they succeeded in changing the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people in their favor? Or have any single individual of Kashmir accepted the forced occupation of India by heart and who doesn’t have sentiments of freedom?”
The Hurriyat patriarch said that India and its poor people are paying a heavy price of holding Jammu and Kashmir under its ‘forced occupation’. “This country is spending the major part of its budget on arms/weapon purchase and due to which millions of its people are miserably suffering. The majority of people of this country are forced to live below poverty line and every year thousands of people die of hunger.”
“Instead of discussing article 370 there is the immediate need of serious discussion over these major issues and it will be a beginning to the peace, prosperity and development of the South-Asian region.”
While terming the reaction of PDP and National Conference over article 370 as irrelevant and meaningless, the hurriyat leader said that these parties are ‘doing this to cash this situation for the assembly elections, otherwise they have always helped New Delhi in erosion of this article and they have become national criminals’.
He said that though the Article 370 is now only a skeleton but even then it is a live proof of the disputed nature of the Kashmir and the new government of India is “not only trying to eliminate this article, but they want to start dangerous game of converting the majority of Jammu and Kashmir into the minorities and capture our land.”
Geelani said that any such attempt will be opposed tooth and nail and Kashmiri nation will start a decisive phase of freedom struggle which will last till a single solider of India remains in Kashmir.