Yasin Malik Draws Support
6 August 2007
Budgam: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik's 'Safr-e-Azadi'(Journey for Freedom) has set a new record of political mobilisation in Kashmir. This is Mr. Malik's second adventure after he collected 15 lakh signatures throughout Kashmir two years ago. In the last 78 days, Mr. Malik visited 1,600 villages and towns in south and central Kashmir, passing through five districts of Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag and Budgam and addressing around 450 meetings. Aimed at mobilising people's support for a 'just and amicable solution to which people of the State should be primary party,' 'Safr-e-Azadi' received tremendous support since its beginning from Matigawran village in south Kashmir on May 20. The public meetings addressed by Mr. Malik and his associates continue till midnight with enthusiastic crowds, comprising even women and children, holding lanterns. No protocol was followed but local people ensured his night stay. Many youth saw hope and commitment in Mr. Malik, who renounced violence in 1994 to pursue a political movement. Mr. Malik alleged that despite the JKLF ceasefire in 1994 hundreds of the organisation were killed by security forces but admitted 'this [political] course is the best way to mobilise people for their rights.' 'People's movement' He regretted that 'New Delhi and Islamabad do not understand his 'people's movement',' as they did with his signature campaign. 'They cannot undermine it. If India and Pakistan fail to seize this opportunity and keep Kashmiris away from the dialogue process, another rebellion cannot be ruled out,' he said.