Strike in Valley over Pope's remarks
18 September 2006
Srinagar: Even after Pope Benedict XVI apologised for his remarks on Islam, the Kashmir Valley observed a daylong strike on Monday. Vehicles were off the roads, business establishments closed and thin attendance in offices and schools. Chairman of a section of the All Parties' Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had called the strike. Mr. Geelani had asked people to stage peaceful demonstrations against the Pope's remarks and observe a strike. 'The Pope's apology is not in the right perspective. He should have said that he made a mistake. And his statement is not based on facts,' said Mr. Geelani. The other faction of the Hurriyat Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, the Kashmir Bar Association and other organisations have also deplored the Pope's remarks. 'This is not the first time the sentiments of the Muslim community have been hurt by blasphemous and offensive comments about Islam. We register our strong protest and condemn Pope Benedict XVI's remarks through a strike today,' said Valley Citizen's Council chairman Zareef Ahmad Zareef.