Juma-tul-Vida- the last Friday of Ramdhan was observed with religious fervour across Kashmir today. The largest gathering was witnessed at Jama Masjid Srinagar where thousands of faithful offered Juma prayers, as a convention, the day was also observed as Youm-e-Qudus and Youm-e-Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that as people of India overwhelmingly voted for PM Modi and his party back into power, this mandate gives Modi the opportunity and the power to play a decisive role in the resolution of the long-pending Kashmir conflict which has consumed generations of Kashmiri’s and is preventing durable peace and development in the entire region. Mirwaiz said that he believes that this issue cannot be resolved militarily or through confrontation but by dialogue and deliberations and Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s oft-repeated offer of dialogue on all issues between India and Pakistan including on the Kashmir issue should be seriously considered by the new dispensation in Delhi like the way forward.
Mirwaiz said today all Kashmiri’s irrespective of their organizational affiliations are speaking in one voice about the urgent need for resolution of the conflict. So it is an opportune time to initiate political processes which enable and facilitates conflict resolution.
Mirwaiz said as in the past Hurriyat is willing to support every such initiative which aims at a peaceful resolution of the dispute keeping in view the sentiments and aspirations of the people of Kashmir who are the main stakeholders and which puts an end to decades of loss and suffering inflicted on them due to the lingering conflict.
Mirwaiz said during our engagement with Vajpayee and later with Manmohan Singh and after visiting Pakistan Hurriyat had put forward certain substantial measures to both India and Pakistan as a precursor to serious negotiations. Both at that time had agreed to implement these steps to prepare the ground for serious negotiations,- it included revocation of the AFSPA and other black laws, gradual demilitarization, prisoner release and initiation of a process to narrow differences between the parties to the dispute.
Mirwaiz said these measures hold true even today when the situation has only further deteriorated. He said if these steps are initiated by both sides it will bring relief to people of Kashmir and an atmosphere for sincere engagement among all stakeholders will be created for a permanent resolution.
Mirwaiz said each day our youngsters are killed in this unresolved conflict which has consumed lakhs of lives. South Kashmir has been turned into a permanent battleground, an expanding graveyard of our young, as we continue to shoulder the dead daily. We want this long cycle of killings and violence to end. We don’t want to see our youngster, or an Indian or Pakistani soldier dies in this ‘forever’ conflict. India and Pakistan have to acknowledge and address the unresolved political problem in Kashmir. Without addressing the question of Kashmir, there will be repeated returns to perilous states of war as we recently witnessed.
Mirwaiz said a resolution to the Kashmir issue can transform both India and Pakistan and usher in a new era of stability and progress in South Asia, free from punishing military budgets and fear of conflict, bringing the much-needed relief to the hapless people of Kashmir striving for a resolution.
For that, it is imperative that democratic processes are invoked and restored by Delhi and the policy of “repression and military approach” be done away with. One measure for doing so is the release all of all political prisoners languishing in various jails across India including Yasin Malik Shabir Ahah Asiya Andrabi and others, Mirwaiz said.
On the occasion, Mirwaiz remembered the lakhs of “martyrs” of Kashmir especially the youth and paid glowing tributes to them and their sacrifices.