Geelani Sets Conditions For Ending Valley Stir31 August 2010
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Asking the Centre to acknowledge Kashmir as an international dispute, Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani has laid down five conditions for putting an end to the massive protests that have rocked the Valley for almost three months now. Addressing a press conference here today, he said: “This has been the tactic of India that whenever the streets of Jammu and Kashmir are turned red by the blood of youth, whenever the Indian forces are killing the people here, they talk about political engagement.” He added: “If India and the international community are sincere about resolving this dispute, the atrocities have to stop and the international community will have to motivate India to accept these conditions”. The five conditions set by Geelani are: * The Centre must acknowledge Jammu and Kashmir as an international dispute. * The government must announce and begin the process of complete demilitarisation, to be monitored by a credible agency like the United Nations. * The Prime Minister must commit publicly and ensure practically that henceforth no killings and no arrests shall take place. The Centre must also discipline the troops and order them to stop humiliating people and destroying public and private property. * The government must immediately and unconditionally release all the youths and political prisoners, and withdraw cases against youths pending in courts for the last two decades. The list of 44 political prisoners include Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, Aasiya Andrabi, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Mohammad Qasim and several key separatist leaders. * The process of punishing the perpetrators of state violence has to begin with the conviction of troops responsible for the recent 65 killings, and has to be followed by convicting all those responsible for war crimes in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the first time since the protests began in the Valley on June 11 that Geelani has put forward conditions to end the stir. He warned that the protests could be intensified if these conditions were not met. “If India accepts these demands, only then the sincere leadership of Jammu and Kashmir can create a conducive atmosphere,” said Geelani. “Our liberty, honour and future can’t wait endlessly for these measures to be implemented. We therefore urge the Indian leadership to end oppression and implement these measures immediately”.