The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik on Friday urged Kashmiri youth to be non-violent even as he charged New Delhi with instigating them to resort to violence.
After returning from Pakistan last week with his bride from Karachi, Mr. Malik chose the revered shrine at Charar-e-Sharief to reappear before the public.
Addressing a gathering near the mausoleum of Sheikh Nooruddin Wali, he accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of pushing the Kashmiri youth into violence by suggesting that separatists were fuelling it. He said this was not true as the Kashmiri people had shown to the world that they adopted non-violence as a means to pursue the goal of “Independence.”
“Last year’s revolution of non-violence was the hallmark of our decade-old struggle for freedom and Dr. Singh should not ignore that.” He, however, asked youth to be vigilant against these “designs.”
Mr. Malik called for the demilitarisation of Kashmir and demanded that severe punishment be given to the murderers of the two women in Shopian. He also expressed concern over the inadequate representation of Kashmiri Muslims in government jobs. “It is a conspiracy to keep them out of policy-making,” he said warning that this would have dangerous repercussions.
Meanwhile, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, speaking at a Friday gathering at the Jamia Masjid, made an unconditional offer to restart talks with New Delhi. “Today, we call upon the Indian government to initiate a dialogue process with Pakistan and the Hurriyat Conference. The APHC would extend its full co-operation in this process,” he said.
“Our struggle is not against any nation, tribe, and religion or against the sovereignty of any country. But our struggle is the struggle for our rights.” Mr. Farooq also appealed to the migrant Kashmiri Pandits to return to Kashmir.
“I call upon my Kashmiri Pandit brethren who migrated from here to come back. The Kashmiri Muslims have always believed in communal brotherhood and religious harmony and proved it every time. Let us take this struggle forward collectively.”