Mufti no Different from Omar, says Mirwaiz

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Hurriyat Conference (m) Chairman and Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-BJP alliance was in no way different from the previous regime led by Omar Abdullah in denying space to voices of dissent and gagging the freedom of expression.

In an interview to KNS, Mirwaiz said the very nature of state (centre) sponsored and controlled arrangement (government) does not allow for any real peoples representation and hence mitigation of their problems.

“Fundamental rights are denied. Expression of opinion is gagged. Youth and even children arrested and put in police lockups on very flimsy pretexts. Nocturnal raids and harassments of citizens continue. Even the right to protest has been snatched from the people by the brutal use of force to crush any voice of protest against the states’ highhandedness,” Mirwaiz said.

He added: “It may not be incorrect to say that the situation in certain areas of performance has worsened. Right Wing Hindu extremists and communal elements, under the present regime, have become bolder especially in Jammu region where they are harassing the Muslims and in certain instances, as reported in the media, have tried to force them out of their houses. Communal and regional confrontation is pursued by these elements to take forward their agenda of changing the demographic character of the sate besides cleansing the Jammu region of the Muslim population.”

Mirwaiz said that Jammu and Kashmir at present was passing through a very difficult period with worsening political situation, increasing communal and regional tension, growing economic unrest and growing despair among the youth “with almost a non-functional governing regime before us and with apparently no signs of improvement”.

The Hurriyat (m) chairman also ridiculed the claims of security agencies that radicalisation was galore among Kashmiri youth. “Radical elements can be found in societies so is the case in Kashmir, but to blow it beyond proportion and claim that radicalization is growing very fast in Kashmir can, perhaps, have some other motives,” he said, adding, “The people are demanding the opportunity to exercise their right of self-determination and their voice is being muzzled by the use of coercive machinery of the state. The spread of anger among the people and especially among the youth, in such circumstances, is quite natural. If it is termed as radicalization then it is also important to see who after all is actually responsible for it.”

Mirwaiz said that expressing unhappiness over non-inclusion of Kashmir in the joint statement by Indian and Pakistan Prime Ministers after their meeting in Ufa (Russia) was the responsibility of Hurriyat leadership.

“However, I am confident that given the nature of relationship between Pakistan and India, Kashmir remains the core issue. Without addressing and making progress on this issue resolution of other issues is not possible,” he said.

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