In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has said that the changes being implemented by the Indian government in the territory will not change the ground realities and sooner or later it will have to settle the Kashmir dispute.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is under continued house detention, in an online interview with BBC Urdu correspondent in Srinagar said he has been under house arrest for the past 19 months and is not being allowed to meet the people.
He said he has not been allowed to offer Juma prayers at Jamia Masjid, Srinagar, for the 82 consecutive Fridays.
The Mirwaiz said that he had received the news through the media that restrictions on his movement had been lifted while on Thursday evening, some Indian police officers also visited him and told that he can go to the mosque for Friday prayers.
“At eight o’clock in the night, some police officers came again and said that you are under detention and you are not allowed to go to the mosque,” he added.
The Hurriyat forum Chairman said it is deplorable and he is surprised that recently the Indian Minister of State for Home Affairs in the Parliament, the most prestigious forum of the country, had categorically stated that no one in IIOJK is under house arrest.
However, he maintained that he has been under continued house detention for the last 19 months and no relief is being given to him.
The Mirwaiz deplored that not only all the civil rights of Kashmiris have been taken away by force but also their basic human and religious rights have been usurped.
He said that he was saddened that the occupation authorities again imposed restrictions on him and turned his house into a garrison.
He said the pulpit of Jamia Masjid has always represented the feelings, sentiments and aspirations of the people of IIOJK and as the Mirwaiz and the Chairman of Hurriyat forum, he has always talked of peace. “We never said we want war.
Whenever Pakistan and India started dialogue, we appreciated them and even participated in the dialogue.
Even we welcomed the recent ceasefire announced by the two countries. But no one is addressing the real issue – the Kashmir dispute,” he said.
He added that imposing restrictions and putting people in jails would not solve any problem as people’s aspirations could not be suppressed through use of force.
The Mirwaiz maintained that Hurriyat leadership has a principled stand on the Kashmir dispute which is being supported by the entire world.
“Even China, the US and the UK are saying that there should be dialogue to settle the dispute.
Kashmiris are the main stakeholders of the Kashmir dispute and why are they being stopped to say this and why their voice is not being heard?” he said. He said that IIOJK had been turned into a police state.
Replying to a question, the Hurriyat forum Chairman said as a Mirwaiz, after the situation that has arisen in IIOJK since August 5, 2019, it is his duty to raise voice against the oppression, abuses and injustices against the people.
To another question, he said the Hurriyat leadership has always advocated peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations.
“We have always supported dialogue. But tight now, no one is listening to us.
The situation in IIOJK has changed so much that the local press is under so much pressure that it is now afraid to publish our stance, because it is being intimidated and threatened.
In such a situation the ways to move forward have been blocked,” he said.
The Mirwaiz said the Indian government should understand that the steps it has taken in IIOJK will not change the ground realities and it will have to resolve the dispute, today or tomorrow – sooner or later.
So it is better for it to change its approach and resolve the dispute.
He made it clear that whether India keeps the Hurriyat leaders detained or free, it will not change their principled stance on the Kashmir dispute.
It is worth mentioning here the Mirwaiz remains under continuous house detention since 04 August 2019, a day before the Modi-led fascist Indian government repealed Kashmir’s special status and imposed military siege in the territory.
On Thursday, the authorities eased restrictions on his movement but a few hours later placed him under house arrest again.—KMS