Media Hype Spoiled Army's Rescue Goodwill: Mirwaiz

23 September 2014
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: Huriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Tuesday said that rescue operation carried out by the army could have created good will among Kashmiri people had the Indian media not projected one side of the story extensively. 'I mean media remained partial in its coverage of flood hit Kashmir. It only projected one side of the story wherein army was rescuing people while as the tireless efforts of local youth who risked their lives were out rightly ignored and downplayed,' Mirwaiz said adding the rescue operations carried out by the army in some parts of Kashmir could have created good will among the locals here had the Indian media not indulged in partial coverage. The Huriyat (M) chief maintained further that the youth risked their lives to save those marooned in the flood hit areas of Kashmir but Delhi based TV channels ignored the ground reality and painted everything with one colour. Mirwaiz said that the youth in thousands came out for the relief and rescue operations, making boats of rubber tyres and reaching out to the flood hit areas. 'Unfortunately media launched a manipulated campaign wherein only army was shown with choppers and rescue boats. But people have recorded everything on their cell phones. The time will come when the ground pictures will be uploaded on internet so that the world would come to know who did what.' Commenting over the incidents of stone pelting on army's rescue mission recently, Mirwaiz maintained that the incidents of stone pelting were the reactions from the people about what they termed partial approach by the army during rescue operations. 'People felt on ground that only outsiders and tourists were rescued by the army. They felt discriminated and also TV channels projected the wrong picture thoroughly,' claimed Mirwaiz. He also expressed his gratitude to the Kashmiris living outside for extending help in terms of relief activities. Kashmir's chief cleric also came down heavily upon the state, accusing it of failing to save precious lives and public property at large. Mirwaiz stated that due to the scarcity of proper planning in the state, people were permitted to construct residential houses along with the commercial structures on flood channels. 'Its results were turbulent. It engulfed everything and when floods hit Kashmir, government machinery totally failed on ground to deliver. It was the total collapse of state administration at the time when it was needed most,' Mirwaiz said. While commenting over the relief sanctions announced by the Government of India (GOI), Mirwaiz asked New Delhi to rise above politics during the present humanitarian crises in Kashmir. 'One has to rise above politics on humanitarian issues. The situation in Kashmir is expecting New Delhi to view the situation on the grounds of humanity and not through the political prism.' The Huriyat (M) chief asked New Delhi to allow international aid organisations to carry relief efforts in Kashmir. 'It is ironical that New Delhi refused t allow international organizations to carry out their rescue operations here. It should have eased peoples' sufferings to large extent' He added that his amalgam should in the near future call its meeting wherein international assistance will be sought for the rebuilding the flood affected Kashmir. 'It is important that the way international organizations carried out relief operations in Azad Kashmir after the devastative earthquake of 2005, GOI should allow them to operate in the same manner here. I hope New Delhi will desist from playing politics over the issue.' When asked about the devastating floods that also hit Jammu region along with Kashmir in the recent past, Mirwaiz stressed 'Whatever we ask for Kashmir is being asked for Jammu as well. We consider Jammu and Kashmir as one entity.'