Omar’s Statement On AFSPA Revocation Is Good Beginning: Mirwaiz

27 February 2009
Rising Kashmir

Srinagar: Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has termed Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s statement about revocation of Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA) as a ‘good beginning’ while Syed Ali Geelani said the statement would deviate focus from the real issue. Geelani rejected the statement of Abdullah saying that such kind of promises had been made in past, which resulted in escalation of human rights violation in Kashmir. “As usual our stand is that Indian troops must withdraw from Kashmir. There should not be even a single Indian solider visible in Kashmir,” Geelani said. He said Kashmir was a disputed territory and by giving such statements it could not be solved in reality. “By reducing the presence troops or sending them into barracks won’t change anything in Kashmir. Such statements are made to keep innocent people of Kashmir in dark as Government of India has deceived them so many times in the past,” Geelani said. Geelani asked Abdullah to remind Government of India about their previous promises regarding the solution of Kashmir dispute. “Primarily all the promises made in the past should be fulfilled,” he said. He reminded Abdullah about his promise of releasing the detainees from various jails of India. “He (Abdullah) had promised that after gaining power he would immediately release the detainees. I want to ask him about Abdul Gani Bhat of Sopore. Instead of allowing him to go for Haj pilgrimage why is he languishing in Kathua jail?” Geelani questioned. “Despite the claims of Chief Minister, Mir Hafeezullah of Islamabad has not been released from jail. Similarly there are thousands of such cases, were detainees are not being released despite court orders,” he said. Reacting to Omar Abdullah’s statement, Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said they want revocation of all black laws like AFSPA and complete demilitarization of Kashmir. “In the backdrop of our agendas his (Abdullah’s) statement can be perceived positively,” Mirwaiz said. However, Mirwaiz maintained that only statements would not make any difference unless such statements are applied practically. “The people of the State can heave a sigh of relief if such statements are implemented on the ground,” he said. Mirwaiz said that black laws like AFSPA were illegal as it was giving boundless powers to Indian troops resulting into gross human rights violation in Kashmir. He advised local police not to indulge in anti-people activities and reminded them of their responsibilities. “Local police must act responsibly as they are aware about the insecurity and dejection being felt by the people of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz added.