February 2003 News

Hurriyat Has Its Back To The Wall, Says Mirwaiz

9 February 2003
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Terming the closure of the Delhi office a 'tragedy', senior Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq today said that the Hurriyat is being pushed to the wall and blamed the BJP for trying to make electoral gains by hardening its stance against the Hurriyat and resorting to Pakistan-bashing. 'We are being pushed to the wall. They have forced us to close our Delhi office which was an awareness bureau. The BJP is using sensitive issues like Kashmir for electoral gains. They did it during the Gujarat elections. Now they are trying to experiment in other states which will go to polls in the near future,' Mirwaiz said. 'It would be a tragedy if saner elements in the country still decide to maintain silence despite the BJP's covert plans for political gains.' The Hurriyat leader also alleged that the Government is doing such things in the name of an anti-terror campaign and is not making any sincere effort for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue. 'They have extended the suspension of passport for another month. I received a letter yesterday wherein I was informed that it was necessary in public interest to extend the suspension of my passport for another four weeks,' he said. 'Everything's being done for electoral gains,' he said, adding that his travel outside the country is now projected as a threat to the integrity and security of the nation. Mirwaiz said that the Government was compelled to release senior Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani since he has been diagnosed of cancer. 'His release was not a goodwill gesture. It was only a compulsion,' he said. The National Conference, the largest mainstream party in Jammu and Kashmir, also criticised the closure of the Hurriyat's Kashmir Awareness Bureau office in Delhi and blamed the Mufti government for it. 'It is not a good step and Mufti appears to be behind it,' said National Conference provincial president Ghulam Nabi Shaheen. On Geelani's release, he said the NC government had not arrested him in June last year. 'He was arrested by the Government of India for tax evasion,' Shaheen said.


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