SRINAGAR: The chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, has called upon the US and Britain to send their observers to occupied Kashmir to review the current situation. Addressing a large congregation at the Jamia Masjid here, the Mirwaiz said that the Kashmir issue cannot be solved by force or through military means, therefore India should take immediate measures that pave the way for the permanent resolution of the matter that has been pending since 1947.
The Mirwaiz expressed concern at the joint Indo-British military exercises in Ladakh, terming them as illegal, and said that they could impair bilateral relations and the composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan. He stressed upon the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to send a high level delegation to Jammu and Kashmir along with India and Pakistan for a first-hand appraisal of the situation. Expressing gratitude to the OIC, the Mirwaiz hoped that the organisation would not only play an effective role in getting the Kashmir issue resolved according to the aspirations of Kashmiris but would also play a positive part in ensuring the participation of Kashmiris in the on-going talks process between India and Pakistan.
“We urge the OIC to send its mission to India, Pakistan and Kashmir to asses the ground situation and explore ways for resolving vexed Kashmir issue,” Mirwaiz said. Condemning communal elements for fuelling communal tensions in Rajouri after an Indo-Pak cricket match, he asked the administration to rein in such forces. He said that communal forces like the Shiv Sena have been spewing venom against the Hurriyat and other pro-movement quarters right from the outset in Jammu, and have, at the behest of the government machinery, tried to vitiate the atmosphere. If this trend is not controlled, it can have dangerous consequences, the Mirwaiz said.
Advising New Delhi to shed “rigidity” and expedite the peace process, the Hurriyat (M) chairman said, “New Delhi has to show flexibility for peace process to move ahead. If New Delhi continues to be rigid it can have far reaching consequences.” Reminding India about Jammu and Kashmir being a “disputed territory” Mirwaiz said, “Joint military exercises carried by Britain and India in Leh are shear violation of United Nations resolutions.” “Today India is holding a joint exercise tomorrow Pakistan can do the same,” he said. He said that no such exercises can be carried out in disputed territory. “Such exercises can lead to the derailment of ongoing Indo-Pak dialogue,” he warned.
Lashing out at New Delhi for sending trekking expedition to Siachen glacier, Mirwaiz said, “By resorting to such tactics India is trying to strengthen its occupation in Jammu and Kashmir.” While referring to the clashes in Rajouri after India beat Pakistan in twenty-twenty cup final in South Africa, Mirwaiz said, “We condemn the attack on Nimazis and express solidarity with the Muslims of Rajouri and Poonch districts.” Mirwaiz accused government of “encouraging” communal elements. “Shiv Sainiks and Bajrang Dal activists enjoy the government patronage,” he said, adding, “Government should rein in these elements that are hell bent upon provoking Muslims. If it (Government) fails to do so, situation in Jammu and Kashmir can take an ugly turn.”-SANA