War will lead to destruction, Geelani tells India, Pakistan

Casting votes in civic polls is like signing ‘surrender pact’: Yasin Malik

“New Delhi has been selling participation of people in the poll process before the world community as people’s faith in the Indian constitution,” Malik said.

Pakistan should not go with a begging bowl before New Delhi for a dialogue on Kashmir, the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said on Sunday, and asserted that war between India and Pakistan “would only lead to destruction and not solution.”
His remarks come day after army chief General BipinRawat called for “avenging Pakistan army and militants’ brutalities on Indian soldiers,” while the Pakistan army hit back saying it was “ready for a war, but chooses peace in the interest of people and neighbours.”

Addressing a seminar organised by the Hurriyat (G) to pay tributes to Imam Hussain (AS), Geelani said that war is not a solution to the Kashmir issue.

“There can be no dialogue till the government of India accepts Kashmir as a dispute and shuns its claim of the region being its integral part,” he said.

“After reading today’s newspapers, I saw India and Pakistan threatening each other with war. I want to tell both the countries that war leads to destruction, not solution,” he said.

Geelani said that on the one hand, New Delhi talks of teaching a lesson to Pakistan and on the other, Pakistan too states that it was ready for a war.

“War is in no way a solution to the vexed Kashmir issue. My message to Pakistan is that it should not go with a begging bowl before New Delhi to seek a dialogue,” he said. “How can a dialogue take place or a solution be achieved when New Delhi says Kashmir is its integral part?”

On September 20, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to Prime Minister NarendraModi and sought resumption of peace dialogue between the two countries that has been suspended since 2015. In the letter addressing the PM as “ModiSahab”, Khan also suggested a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The proposed meeting of the foreign ministers was, however, called off by New Delhi citing stamps issued by Islamabad displaying BurhanWani’s portraits and the abduction and killing of three policemen by suspected militants in southern Shopian district in Kashmir on Friday.

Geelani said that it was the “rigid approach” of New Delhi which has been a “major hurdle” in the solution of Kashmir issue.
“The fact is that Kashmir is a disputed territory and there are 18 resolutions pending before the United Nations to which Delhi is a signatory,” he said. “These resolutions, once implemented, will clear as to whether people of Kashmir would stay with India or accede to Pakistan.”

The Hurriyat (G) chairman said that there have been more than 150 rounds of dialogue on Kashmir and “all failed because of New Delhi’s claim of Kashmir being its integral part.”

He said that enough blood has flown and continues to flow in Kashmir “Every day there are killings of innocents, and people are being jailed for no crime. Resistance leaders who were arrested last year continue to languish in New Delhi’s Tihar jail.

Everybody who is being arrested is slapped with Public Safety Act (PSA),” he said. “Our leader Abdul GaniBhat was kept naked in central jail Srinagar. This is the height of oppression. The day I was confined to my house in 2010, our leader MasratAlam was booked under PSA and till date, 35 PSAs were slapped on him and he continues to be behind bars even today. ”

The Hurriyat (G) chairman urged people to follow the footsteps of Imam Hussain (AS), who rejected the Yazeed’s offer of entering into a surrender agreement. “The real tribute to Imam Hussain (AS) will be to follow Islam in letter and spirit and invite others also to follow the great religion,” he said.

Geelani, who presided over the day-long seminar, paid rich tributes to the martyrs of Karbala and said that by his martyrdom, Imam Hussain (AS) taught the weak and suppressed people to remain steadfast against the tyranny and barbarism.

Geelani said that the people of Kashmir demand their legitimate right as promised and accepted by the world community.
Slamming “undue interference” in religious matters of Muslims, Geelani castigated authorities in New Delhi for proposing making triple-talaq a punishable offence, allowing Muslim women to perform Hajj without “Mahram” and prohibiting carrying of sacrificial animals from one place to another.

“These arbitrary commands are a ploy to disintegrate Muslims on the basis of minor ideological differences,” he said, making a fervent appeal to the Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir to remain united “irrespective of such divisive tactics.”

Casting votes in the upcoming panchayat and urban local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir is like “signing a surrender pact” because New Delhi has always projected people’s participation in the polls as a “referendum in its favour”, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik said on Sunday, and reiterated the Joint Resistance Leadership’s poll boycott call.

Addressing a seminar organised by the Hurriyat Conference (G) to pay tributes to Imam Hussain (AS), Malik said: “I hardly see any difference between Karbala and the present situation in Kashmir. Karbala was the battle between truth and falsehood and in Kashmir we are fighting the same battle today. Imam Hussain (AS) was asked to sign an agreement of surrender but he refused to do so. I believe casting vote in the upcoming civic polls is tantamount to signing the (same) surrender pact.”

The leadership in New Delhi has been projecting people’s participation in polls as referendum in its favour and telling the world that Kashmir issue was a problem of a few people being sent by Pakistan, the JKLF chairman said.

“New Delhi has been selling participation of people in the poll process before the world community as people’s faith in the Indian constitution,” Malik said.

He said that the job of resistance leadership is to spread the word about boycott of all kinds of polls. “Then, it is for the people to take a final call,” he said. “When there will be no votes and polling stations would wear a deserted look, only then pressure would mount on the international community to force New Delhi to resolve Kashmir.”

Malik said that people must understand why New Delhi is so “adamant” to hold the polls. “It is because participation of people (in these polls) gives visa to India to stay in Kashmir,” he said. “We must realise that so far, we have lost four generations to the conflict and now it is high time to stay away from the poll process.”

The government has announced polls to urban local bodies and panchayats from next month. Two principal mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir—the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party—have announced boycott of these polls, citing “assault” on Article 35-A which has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The Article gives special rights and privileges to the state’s permanent residents.

Comparing the ongoing Kashmir movement with the Karbala battle, the JKLF chief said that Imam Hussain (AS), his family and companions were less in number while there was a full-fledged state in the opposition.

“Now if we assess the present situation in Kashmir, there are lakhs of forces personnel and only a few militants which New Delhi also agrees. Yet innocent people are being killed every day while pellets are showered on those who raise their voice against oppression. Properties are being vandalised, houses blown up, and people of all ages asked to come out and stay in open, in several areas, by the government forces,” he said.

He said that the beauty of Karbala is that even after passage of more than 1400 years, people continue to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS).

“Today we have graveyards of martyrs everywhere in Kashmir. Jails are filled with prisoners and in a prison in Udhampur, inmates are pushed to forced labour. Our elderly prisoners are kept naked in jails,” Malik said.