Kashmir separatists, people hail clerics’ stand

Srinagar, Oct 12 (Calcutta Tube) Separatist leaders and common people Monday welcomed the demand of the clerics group Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) seeking withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Kashmir, but appealed to them ‘not to offer solutions to the political issue’ in the valley.

‘I salute the concern shown by the Indian Muslims against the excesses committed on the freedom-seeking people of Kashmir,’ chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik told IANS.

‘At the same time, I would appeal to the Indian Muslims not to offer solutions to the political issue of Kashmir. I fully understand their limitations in this regard,’ Malik said.

The JUH Sunday expressed ‘serious concern’ over the situation in Kashmir and passed several resolutions.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, said: ‘Indian Muslims are faced with limitations of their own. Still they have raised their voice against atrocities, excesses and the AFSPA.

‘We welcome this, yet we do not expect they can afford to get actively involved in our freedom movement. They have spoken of a solution within the Indian constitution which is not in conformity with our stand.

‘The attempt by the Indian Muslims proves that there is growing awareness about the Kashmir problem among the people in India,’ he added.

Mirwaiz Umer also said the separatist leaders would soon launch an awareness campaign in India to dispel the impression that whatever is happening in Kashmir is happening at the behest of Pakistan.

Hardline senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani was, however, not available for comment as his office said: ‘He is busy right now.’

The common people have welcomed the JUH decision.

‘It (JUH) has understood our pain and sufferings which is definitely going to act as a balm on our bruised wounds.

‘It is time the state and central governments move forward in the right direction to end our miseries,’ said Muzaffar Ahmad, a college teacher here.

Others said the Muslim brotherhood across the world does not recognise any borders.

‘Muslims all over the world are one ‘umma’ (Muslim brotherhood) and, therefore, to feel the pain and suffering of a fellow Muslim is natural for all of us,’ said Suhail Khan, 35, a local businessman.

‘It is for the first time the Muslims in India have spoken so forcefully about our problems. It is a very supportive feeling,’ said Master Habibullah, 65, a retired school teacher.

Some even wanted to know whether or not the demands of the Indian Muslims pertaining to Kashmir would be accepted by the central and the state governments.

‘I have heard what they said. It would be a great news if the voice raised by the Indian Muslims is heard and acted upon by the state and the central governments,’ said Abdul Majid Sheikh, a retired employee of the local health department.

As many as 109 people have lost their lives in the last four months of unrest in the Kashmir Valley.

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