AFSPA amendments ‘irrelevant’; Geelani, Mirwaiz, Shah echo the same views

Srinagar, Apr 11: Calling AFSPA and other ‘draconian’ laws irrelevant in the ongoing movement for freedom, separatist leaders have reiterated their demand for demilitarization and right to self determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to the statement of Home Minster P. Chidambaram regarding the amendments in AFSPA, Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that such issues were the ‘off shoots’ of what he said the basic problem of ‘forcible occupation’ of India on Jammu and Kashmir. “Amendments to AFSPA, black laws etc. are basically the off shoots of a bigger problem, the forcible occupation of Indian forces on Jammu and Kashmir.” Geelani said, adding that almost 6 lack people of the state had laid down their lives since 1947 for the right to self determination. “These 6 lack people have not sacrificed their lives for AFSPA amendment.” maintained Geelani, adding that no Kashmiri was willing to take such ‘initiatives’ seriously. “These kind of things are not a big deal for us and we don’t even give a thought to it.” added the Hurriyat Chairman. He alleged that India had taken the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir hostage to gun point and stressed that unless the army was not withdrawn from the state, no other ‘initiative’ was to yield results. “Let you demilitarize the state and ask people their choice.” demanded Geelani, adding that people’s wish and choice in absence of military occupation would be the supreme.
Calling P. Chidambarm’s AFSPA related statement as ‘Patch work’, Geelani said that such ‘tactics’ won’t work and vowed to take the movement to its logical end. “Patch works can’t provide relief to Kashmiris.” added Geelani. Meanwhile Chairman of another faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also termed the amendments to AFSPA ‘irrelevant’ and said that New Delhi had been ‘non serious’ in addressing the Kashmir issue. “They have been non serious all the way.” alleged Mirwaiz, adding that India had turned Jammu and Kashmir into a Military and Police state. Talking to KNS, Mirwaiz while pressing for withdrawal of forces from the state, said that people were being traumatized by the presence of a huge quantum of armed forces in the state. “New Delhi needs to address the Kashmir issue seriously.” maintained Mirwaiz.
Senior Separatist leader and President of democratic front Shabir Ahmad Shah also castigated New Delhi for what he said indulging in ‘delaying tactics’ to address the Kashmir problem. “Amendments to AFSPA can’t be an alternative to our freedom movement.” Shah said, maintaining that Kashmiris should be included in the talks between India and Pakistan. “There must be a conducive atmosphere for any dialogue process to take place.” told Shah, elaborating that revocation of AFSPA, and PSA and releasing of all detainees were the initiatives which could create a conducive atmosphere in the state.

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