Between Malik And His Bride Comes The State

23 July 2009
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Placing the chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik, under house arrest for the past three months has shattered his plan of getting his newly wed bride, Mishal Malik, from Pakistan to Kashmir. He has remained confined in a 7x12 room since May 2009, and during all these months he has been set free for just one and a half day. “Till date no one has told me why I have been placed under house arrest,” Malik told Greater Kashmir on Thursday. He said that he had planned to get his wife to Srinagar in the second week of July. “I cannot move ahead with my plans till the restrictions are lifted,” he added. Malik said recently the Indian Home minister, P Chidambaram, had said that no restrictions would be imposed on the movement of the pro-freedom leaders and people would be allowed to stage peaceful demonstrations and take out processions. “Despite his assurances, nothing has changed,” he added. Malik’s Nikah ceremony was solemnized in Islamabad (Pakistan) on February 22 this year. “For the past few days, mainstream politicians have been trumpeting that situation has improved. If their claims are true then why I’m not being allowed to move out,” he asked. Malik, whose house is located in the heart of the city, has no compound due to which he has to remain confined to his room. “Confinement has taken a toll on his health,” said a senior JKLF activist. “By not allowing Malik to bring his wife, the government is punishing him,” he alleged. “Such tactics won’t deter our resolve and we will continue to carry forward our struggle till we achieve our goal,” he added. He said that JKLF had played a vital role to turn the ongoing movement from violent to non-violent by announcing a unilateral ceasefire in 1994. “Despite all of our efforts our leaders and activists have been treated shabbily,” he added. He said that when JKLF conducted the Signature Campaign and Safar-e-Azadi not a single violent incident was reported. “During both the events we traveled across the length and breadth of the state and met thousands of people. We’ve denounced violence since the day we gave up arms,” he said.