‘Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir will be a platform to express suffering irrespective of colour of victims & actors of violence’

The organisers of a parallel event being held here on September 7 to counter Zubin Mehta’s ‘Ehsaas-e-Kashmir’ concert, insisted on Thursday that ‘Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir’ would be an “inclusive exposition of the Kashmiris’ collective suffering.”

Though an official statement made by the organisers said the event will “showcase the reality of Jammu and Kashmir, to mark the terrors of the military occupation and to celebrate the resilience of Kashmiris,” Khurram Parvez, spokesman for the alternative show and coordinator of the Coalition of Civil Society [CCS] told The Hindu that Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir would be “a platform to express suffering irrespective of the colour of the victims and the actors of violence.”

“We have extended an open invitation to all without being selective or specific to the identity of the victims and the perpetrators. We hold the State, police and armed forces responsible for all atrocities and human rights abuses for being an organised institution but we have no hesitation to admit that both, the State agencies as well as the militants, have perpetrated cruelties on the uninvolved civilian population in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr. Parvez said.

He claimed that his civil society group had especially invited the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharash Samiti, a representative organisation of the resident Kashmiri Pandits, to express their suffering and feelings at the Sher-e-Kashmir Park show.

“We expect them to be present there even as they have told us that the artists from the minority community could not be prepared for a presentation at short notice,” he said, adding, “They are welcome to use our platform if they want to recite a ghazal or read a poem to remember those of them who were killed or tortured either by militants or by the Indian security forces. We will not object if anybody wants to come up with a photograph, a painting or a poem on the atrocities committed by the non-State actors.”

Mr. Parvez admitted unequivocally that even those who were opposing Azadi and accession to Pakistan had “not only the right to life but also the right to propagate their political ideology.” “When we emphasise self-determination under the UN resolutions, we automatically accept the other party’s right to live and right to chose”, he asserted.

He said that CCS had documented not only the deaths and custodial disappearances of the victims of the State actors of violence but also those targeted by the non-State actors of violence. “We have researched and documented even the deaths and sufferings of the counterinsurgent Ikhwanis.” Earlier, at a press conference, the organisers said that the parallel show would be held even if the German Ambassador Michael Steiner came to attend it.