Army’s remark evidence of India ‘occupying’ Kashmir: Pro-freedom camp

Reacting to the Army’s reported assertion that India would be forced to grant independence to Jammu and Kashmir by 2016 if AFSPA is lifted from the State, pro-freedom groups Saturday termed it as “clear proof of India holding Kashmir by dint of its military might.”

In a statement here, a spokesman of the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat said that the army General’s statement reflects the bitter truth that India was occupying Kashmir only through its army. “It also elucidates that people of Kashmir don’t want to remain with India”.

The spokesman reiterated the amalgam’s stand that “issues cannot be resolved through use of force and only meaningful dialogue on Kashmir can lead to peace and stability in the Indo-Pak subcontinent.”

“One can hope that after this open admission of bitter realities by Army, New Delhi would start a purposeful dialogue process with Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership to resolve the issue,” the spokesman said.

Even National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal’s statement that governments in Jammu and Kashmir owe their survival to Army and New Delhi should serve as an eye-opener to pro-India parties in Kashmir, the spokesman added.

“However, the realistic approach of Kamal notwithstanding, one cannot ignore the fact that this party (NC) has tried to hoodwink Kashmiris by raising the bogey of special status to Jammu and Kashmir or the revocation of black laws like AFSPA,” he said. “Political somersaults and trickery have been the culture  of this party and time has proven that for the sake of power National Conference didn’t even hesitate to shake hands with those it once described as forbidden fruit.”

The Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led Hurriyat said the Army had “unintentionally admitted the truth regarding Kashmir.”

“They have admitted that India is in Jammu and Kashmir because of its military and it cannot hold onto Kashmir even for a day without the armed forces and the black laws giving impunity to them,” a spokesman of the amalgam said.

The spokesman said that in the wake of the “changing” international scenario, military cannot hold any nation by force for too long.

“The basic demand of Kashmiris is the end to India’s military occupation of Kashmir and ASFPA and other black laws are just offshoots of this,” he said, adding that if Disturbed Areas Act, Public Safety Act and AFSPA and other “black laws” are lifted from Jammu and Kashmir, India won’t “find even a single person in Jammu and Kashmir ready to accept its sovereignty.”

“How long can India suppress the voice of Kashmiris . If India doesn’t acknowledge the realities it would be isolated and despite all its military and economic resources stand as nothing before the international community.”

Terming Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his party’s statements on AFSPA as “mere vote bank politics,” the spokesman said that Omar was well aware of his “helplessness” before the Army on this matter.

“These pro-India parties have been deceiving kashmiris right from 1947. They are only concerned with power and not whether Kashmiris live or die. If any of them is really sincere he should shun this power politics and join the national struggle for freedom,” he said in a statement here to PBI.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front also termed the “Army statement as evidence of Indian armed forces occupying Kashmir.”

“It’s a self-admission of Kashmir being under military occupation and New Delhi trying to prolong this occupation through its paid agents. It also shows that the Army has failed to suppress the freedom sentiment of Kashmiris during the past 64 years,” JKLF acting chairman Advocate Bashir  Ahmad Bhat said during a meeting at the party’s Maisuma office.