Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday asked “those in power” to release all political prisoners, restore their freedom and withdraw all draconian laws such as AFSPA and PSA if they are serious and there’s really change of heart.
Addressing the Friday congregation at the historic Jamiaa Masjid here, Mirwaiz said that announcement regarding withdrawing of FIR against “so-called first time stone pelters” looks more as a “looking good cosmetic attempt” on the part of a ruling regime “that has come to symbolize extreme force and repression and a reputation of being anti-people.”
Mirwaiz said simultaneous to the announcement, a specially-abled auto driver Umar from Anantnag Anantnag was slapped with PSA and shifted to Kathua jail.
He said thousands of Kashmiris are languishing in jails across J&K and in India for their political ideology and beliefs.
“They are being subject to ill-treatment as a state policy of inflicting punishment upon them for their dissenting political views,” he said, adding that the draconian PSA law was invoked against them on flimsy and baseless grounds at the will and whim of the authorities as and when they desire in order to keep them continuously in lockups. He said they are lodged with criminals and even basic facilities as per the jail manual including medical facilities are denied to them.
“If those in power are sincere and serious and there really is a change of heart and approach, then all political prisoners should be immediately released from jails and their freedom restored and all draconian laws such as AFSPA PSA etc withdrew forthwith,” Mirwaiz said.
He said that youth and teenagers taking to streets was a reaction that emanates from the lingering Kashmir conflict and until it was addressed and resolved in accordance with universal principles of justice and people’s will, “hacking at the symptoms and outcomes of the conflict will bear no fruit.”
“It is the root cause that has to be hit at and dealt with in order to change the conditions in J&K so that people of Kashmir especially the youth can be saved and given the opportunity to explore their potential.”
Mirwaiz said people and leadership of Kashmir were most eager to play their role in promoting an atmosphere of peace and prosperity and partake of its huge benefits.
But such a possibility, he said, can only be realized when government of India decides to address the Kashmir ‘dispute’ in its historical background and in keeping with the people’s aspirations. “It will have a transformative impact on the whole region and tremendous benefits for all.”