India forced Kashmiris to take up arms: Kashmiri leader

15 April 2009

Srinagar: - A senior Kashmiri leader said on that the government of India would have to admit that Kashmiris were forced to take up arms by New Delhi, and that PDP leaders would put this 'bitter truth' before central leaders once elected to the parliament. Addressing a one-day convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s youth wing at party headquarters on Wednesday, Moulvi Iftikhar, who is also a senior Shia leader and candidate for the Srinagar constituency, said that Kashmiri youth had been standard-bearers of peace and messengers of brotherhood for centuries but India had forced them to take up arms by snatching their basic political and constitutional rights. 'The mistake was committed by India, but the Kashmiris are being punished,' he said. 'On being elected, I will put the bitter truth before the Indian leadership, something the National Conference has never dared to do,' he said. 'The youth of the state will have to step forward to counter the unholy designs of the National Conference and ensure a better future for themselves so that the politics of exploitation is wiped out from Srinagar,' he said, adding that he would go to any extent to restore the dignity and honor of Kashmiri youth and ensure their bright future. Moulvi Iftikhar said that the leadership of Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had engendered constructive and practical politics in Kashmir which would have to be safeguarded. Speaking on the occasion, senior leader, Qazi Muhamad Afzal, said that the NC had come to power solely because of the boycott factor, and had the people of Srinagar used their vote in the assembly elections, the NC would not have been foisted on the people.