'Keep Education Out Of Strikes'6 September 2010
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Pressure is mounting on Kashmiri separatist hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani to keep education out of the purview of the continuous shutdowns and protests, which entered the 87th day on Monday. After United Jehad Council chairman Syed Salahuddin, based in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Kashmir's largest politico-religious organization, the Jamaat-e-Islami, now the Grand Mufti (Head Priest) of Kashmir, Mufti Bashiruddin has openly questioned the logic of keeping education subservient to the ongoing protests. 'The strikes have severely affected the education of our future generations. The struggle for freedom is alright in its own place but it should not hamper the education of our children,' the Mufti told HT on Monday. 'Every nation struggling for freedom has suffered when the resistance had an impact on education. So, it is necessary that the struggle be separated from education,' he said. 'Such is the importance of education that the first verse which was revealed by our Prophet was to 'read',' he said. But Geelani is in no mood to relent. He told HT that though education was a concern, students have to observe strikes whenever they are called. 'I don't know what to do. Geelani says sacrifice is a must and the government shows no leniency towards students. We are squeezed by both sides,' said Srinagar school who didn't want to be named. Advani meets PM A BJP delegation comprising L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, and S S Ahluwalia met the Prime Minister and Home Minister on Monday and submitted memorandum on the Kashmir situation. The memorandum said that 'there is a need to strengthen the security scenario in the state'. The BJP's argument is that the touchstone of the centre's Kashmir policy should be to ensure its full integration with India and do nothing to help separatists. It read: 'If you analyse the nature of the present demands, they are all intended to weaken India's sovereignty. Dilution of Army's presence in the valley, dilution of the provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, dilution of the Line of Control and allowing legitimacy to infiltration are only some examples of this kind.' 'We said nothing should be done to increase the separatists' moralemorale. The whole talk of a political package raises the fear that a package demoralizing for the armed forces may be given under pressure,' Advani said.