Will Consider Talks After Invitation: Geelani20 October 2011
Srinagar: Ahead of expected New Delhi-separatist dialogue, veteran leader and Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani Thursday refused to out-rightly reject the possible offer from Centre, saying that he would discuss it once the formal invitation is received. Addressing a crowded news conference at his Hyderpora residence this morning, Geelani said that any offer for dialogue from Centre would be discussed by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and Hurriyat Conference. “If there is any invitation for talks, our Majlis Shoora will take decision it. We will also consult our vast like-minded circle,” he said. Geelani however dodged direct queries about any preconditions for talks with New Delhi saying, “Don’t drag it.” Asked about United Jehad Council Chief Syed Salahudin’s suggestion that separatists shouldn’t enter into bilateral talks with New Delhi, Geelani said, “We have our system and we will take decision according to it.” He, however, added that institution of dialogue has failed in the past 60 years. ON SLUM DWELLERS: The pro-freedom leader said New Delhi is trying to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir by establishing slums for non-local residents here. “India is using same tactics in Kashmir which Israel used against Palestinians. They (Palestinians) were evicted from their homeland and 40 lakh of them are living life of refugees in Middle East,” he said. “Those accusing us of exploiting youth are implementing plans of India. They buried their 22-year movement for becoming Chief Minister from the post of Prime Minister in 1975. He (Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah) passed Land Grants Bill. Who imposed Public Safety Act here?” he asked. He also said Maharaja Hari Singh ensured protection of Kashmiri identity by disallowing non-locals to purchase land or construct houses here ‘though Kashmiris suffered from oppression during Dogra rule.’ Geelani said, “There is no need of framing new law aimed at providing housing facility to the state subjects and only motive of bringing the Bill in Assembly is to pave way for settling non-local residents here.” NOT AGAINST YATRA: The pro-freedom leader said that Kashmiris are not against Amaranth Yatra, but it needs to be regulated for the protection of environment. “On one side, there was economic blockade against us in 2008, but on other we opened langars for Yatris. But when 6.5 lakh people visit a place in a certain period of time its impact on environment cannot be overlooked. There is restriction for number of Yatris visiting Gangotri.” UNMARKED GRAVES: Geelani said the number of unmarked graves would be much higher in Jammu and Kashmir. “Our 10,000 people were subjected to enforced disappearances during past 20 years. So far 6500 graves have been discovered in five districts and it could be much higher as there is no district in JK where such graveyards are not found,” he said. ‘CULTURAL AGGRESSION’: Geelani also asked masses to remain cautious of the ‘cultural aggression waged by India in Kashmir.’ “Cultural aggression is more dangerous than forcible rule. Our daughters are being asked to dance in universities and colleges,” he said. KUNANPOSHPORA SHRC JUDGMENT: Reacting to the State Human Rights Commission judgment about reinvestigation of Kunanposhpora ‘mass rape,’ Geelani said now state government has openly admitted that modesty of more than 30 women was outraged. “It has also exposed the lies of (former Press Council Chief BG) Varghese,” he said. Following Kunanposhpora incident in 1991, the Press Council team led by Varghese, which visited Kashmir, claimed that “such a delayed medical examination proves nothing” and that the “medical findings were typical among villagers.” The PC team concluded that the charges against the army were “well-concocted bundle of fabricated lies” and “a massive hoax orchestrated by militant groups and their sympathisers and mentors in Kashmir and abroad.” Geelani also appealed people to demonstrate steadfastness for ‘taking the freedom movement to its logical conclusion.’ “Our resolve should be strong and even if India will lay gold on our roads, we shouldn’t give up our cause,” he appealed.