‘NATO Pullout Can Allure Kashmiri Youth To Gun’

‘NATO Pullout Can Allure Kashmiri Youth To Gun’

16 April 2013
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik Tuesday said the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan has a potential to change the discourse in Kashmir as people, especially youth, may think that non-violent movements had failed and gun was the only way to resolve issues. Addressing a press conference here after being released from 36-day house arrest, Malik said the reports that Taliban would come to Kashmir have no substance. “We have offered sacrifices of over one lakh people in last 22 years. Our struggle is indigenous and I believe it will continue to be so,” said Malik. “Despite going through hell, Kashmiris have kept the movement alive. And I believe they will continue to do so no matter how much force and oppressive measures Government of India uses to crush the sentiment,” he said. Replying to a query whether NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan could lead to a change in Kashmir, the JKLF chief said the move has a potential to change the political discourse in Kashmir. “The criminal silence of international community has is already under question. When we were having guns in hands, not just the civil society of India but the entire world community urged us to start a non-violent democratic movement,” Malik said. “We did that, but now we feel back-stabbed. The troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and the subsequent atmosphere for talks there will force the people of Kashmir to think. I believe people, especially youth, would pose a question whether non-violent movements had failed and the gun was the only way to resolve Kashmir.” Asked whether he would lead the new armed struggle in case that shapes up after NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, he said: “I believe in strengthening the non-violent form of struggle. We have defeated Government of India politically, morally and spiritually.” The JKLF chief said it is high time for New Delhi to show flexibility towards Kashmir. “Is it that Government of India wants to annoy the Kashmiri youth in the same way it did in 1986?” he questioned. “My question to them is how they can ensure peace in South Asia when the root cause of the problem is alive,” the JKLF chief said. Malik said he will stage a 48-hour long hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on May 3. “The strike will be against the life-sentences imposed on Kashmiris and the denial of return of Muhammad Afzal Guru’s body,” he said. “We will convey a message to the people that India was forcing the people of Kashmir for another armed struggle.” Malik urged the people to follow the programs of Mutahida Majlis-e-Mashawarat (MMM). “They have called for protests after Friday prayers. I will lead a protest after Friday prayers in Lal Chowk,” he said. Malik condemned the rampant arrests of youth and slapping of PSA on them. He also condemned the house arrest of Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and the arrest of Shabir Ahmed Shah and Nayeem Ahmed Khan.