Terming the ‘framing of a common strategy and joint programme’ by the resistance leadership as a need of the hour, United Jihad Council (UJC) Chairman Syed Salahuddin said the upcoming visit of a Hurriyat delegation to Pakistan would not be fruitful in absence of a consensus among the separatists.
“Unless and until the two factions of the Hurriyat Conference along with the other resistance leaders devise a mutual programme and a common strategy after reaching a consensus, their Pakistan visit is not going to be beneficial. If they have a common policy and speak in one voice, then only will their visits and interactions with Pakistani leadership be meaningful and decisive. Even if they remain in separate forums, a joint programme and common strategy will give weight to their voice”, said Salahuddin in a telephonic interview with KNS adding “However, since the Hurriyat has been invited to Pakistan, it is their right to decide on visiting the country and accepting the invitation. Whoever visits Pakistan and in whatever number, the visit should not be a mere photo opportunity”.
While talking to KNS, Salahuddin asked the civil society including Bar Association, Ulema to play their role in convincing the separatist leadership to devise a common strategy for taking the ongoing freedom movement to its logical end. He said that consensus among resistance leadership was a precondition for them to be able to convince India, Pakistan and International community on their view point.
“India wrongly projecting elections”, appeals panchs, sarpanchs to listen to their conscience”
On the ongoing election process for the 4 Legislative Council seats in the state, Salahuddin said that India was wrongly projecting elections in the state as expression of will by people and appealed Panchs and Sarpanchs to stay away from the process of elections. “For the sake of sacrifices offered by more than 5 lakh Kashmiris, if the panchs and sarpanchs have a conscience or have even one bit of sympathy for the freedom movement, they should stay away from anti-movement activities”, said the UJC Chief adding “Although they project them (panchat members) and the elections as non-political, but on the other hand Indian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister equate them with a referendum in favour of India. Local pro-India political parties are cheating the panchs and sarpanchs and pushing them toward treachery with their people, however, they should decide for themselves and stay away from elections”, he added.
No against Amarnath Yatra or Yatris
While stressing that Kashmiris would uphold their centuries old tradition of hospitality and always welcome the Amarnath Yatris, Salahuddin called the construction of concrete road leading to the Amarnath cave and development of infrastructure as an effort to harm the “muslim-majority-character” of the Jammu and Kashmir state. “We are neither against Yatra nor against the yatris and Kashmiris have proven that over so many years”, he said adding that the leadership, civil society and common people in Kashmir should start a united struggle against the government’s move to build roads and setting up infrastructure. He said the Supreme Court’s directions to lay tiles on the Amarnath track will finally lead to building hotels, guest houses, hospitals and a mecademized road along the route.
Drawing parallels with the Israeli occupation of Palestine, he said,“ The aim of such an exercise to alter the demography of the state”, adding ”Kashmiris are being projected as communal outside whileas fact is that there has not even been one communal clash in the entire history of Kashmir as against many pogroms of muslims in rest of India, not even one non-muslim brother was harmed in Kashmir”.
“Stop repeating “peaceful struggle” mantra”
Asserting that militant struggle was an indispensable part of the freedom movement, Salahuddin exhorted upon the separatist leaders to “stop needlessly repeating the mantra of ‘peaceful struggle’ time and again”.
“With great humility, I request the Hurriyat leadership and other separatist leaders to stop repeating the term “peaceful struggle” needlessly. They know history better than me and I would want to know which military occupation ended by a mere peaceful struggle. They (separatists) should not give people a false hope that the Indian military occupation will end through a peaceful struggle. As is evident from Iraq, Afghanisatan and Vietnam, militaries in the past have only left countries through armed struggles”, Salahuddin stressed.
“Military occupations don’t end merely through political struggle, conferences or seminars. The political leadership has been fighting on political and diplomatic fronts, however, they should not dissuade youth from the armed struggle. They should leave the armed struggle to the youth and hold their forte on political front”, the UJC chairman said ,adding “India is strengthening its military occupation in the state by upgrading rail, road and communication networks apart from illegally occupying agricultural and horticultural land including tourist resorts”.
“Hanging Guru would cost them dearly”
Salahuddin cautioned the state and central governments against hanging of 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru saying “it would cost them dearly”. “Like lakhs of Maqbool’s were born after hanging of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat, thousands of Afzals will be born if they repeated the mistake”, he added.
“Concerned over plight of inmates, judiciary biased against Kashmiri prisoners”
Expressing serious concern over the plight of Kashmiri detainees in various jails in and outside the state, the UJC Chief accused the authorities of providing unhealthy, unhygienic and sub-standard food to the jailed leaders and activists, in an effort to harm their lives. “They are being deprived of medical aid and other basic amenities in jails”, he said while appealing people especially leadership, Bar Associations and human rights organizations to come to the rescue of detainees.
He said the Indian judiciary, including the Supreme Court, works under the influence of the political leadership. While terming the repeated slapping of Public Safety Act against Masrat Alam Bhat and decision of lifelong detention of Dr Qasim Faktoo as atrocious and illegal, the Hizb Chief accused the Indian judiciary of being biased against Kashmiri inmates. “If they were not biased, then the culprits in different massacres and killings like Gandebal, Chitisinghpora, Pathribal and Machil would not have been roaming free till date”, he added.
“Consultation with civil society is in the interest of movement”
Calling people and the civil society as the driving force behind any struggle, the Hizb Supremo said that taking the civil society into confidence was in the interest of the ongoing struggle. “People are the real power which decides the fate of movements. Whether the leadership goes to Pakistan, India or remains active in Kashmir, evolving a consensus after due consultations with opinionated people is in the interest of the freedom movement. There is no harm in consultations with people or the civil society at any stage”.