Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday strongly denounced authorities for scuttling the peaceful protest programs of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) with regard to observing the ‘human rights week’, and the massive crackdown on resistance leadership, activists and associates.
Addressing the Friday congregational gathering at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid after being set free an hour before the prayers, Mirwaiz, according to a statement issued to GNS, said, “The unprecedented human rights abuse that people of J&K, especially the valley, suffer as a consequence of forced control and military presence is among the worst in the world . And when we raise our voice against it even that is not allowed.”
He said across the globe, December 10 is observed as Human Rights Day to reiterate the entitlement to human rights for all humans. “But Kashmir is an exception where all our rights have been snatched and every single voice raised against that is muzzled through military might. Even a candlelight protest poses threat to ‘peace’ and ‘law and order’,” he said.
Mirwaiz said besides leadership and activists, all those associated with commemorating the ‘human rights week’ including traders were detained or intimidated with arrests by the “paranoid” authorities.
Hurriyat (M) chairman said the human rights situation in south Kashmir is appalling. “It has been turned into a military garrison with military personnel dotting the entire landscape, where homes are blown up by using missiles and mortars that otherwise are used in wars. People are thrashed, maimed and harassed under the guise of CASO and where even infants aren’t spared the wrath of the mighty as baby Hiba lost her vision to the deadly pellets that ruptured her eye,” he said.
He said the recent report of UNHRC is a testimony to the “ever rising graph of human rights abuses”. He urged the world body to put pressure on India and send its team to Kashmir to get a firsthand account of what Kashmiris are going through.
Mirwaiz said it is amply clear that Kashmir issue can’t be dealt militarily something that has even been acknowledged time and again by retired Indian and Pakistani army generals who through their writings urge for a political settlement to the dispute. The GoI has to realize the gravity of the situation and Kashmir dispute’s historical background and respond positively to the engagement offer put forth by the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said.
“Kashmir will continue to witness the worst human rights violations unless people in India and world intervene to build pressure on Government of India to call back its army,” Mirwaiz said.
A Hurriyat (M) statement issued to GNS said that soon after the culmination of Friday prayers, Mirwaiz led a protest march against the “unabated human rights violations” taking place in Kashmir.
“The protest was attended by thousands of people and the Hurriyat activists who were carrying placards denouncing human rights violations and asking for their restoration,” the statement said. (GNS)