March 2019 News

JKLF Was Stakeholder When GoI Held Talks With It: Bar

23 March 2019
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: Kashmir High Court Bar Association on Saturday said 'it appears' that ban on JKLF was only because of ensuing Parliamentary Elections otherwise government of India held talks with it as 'stakeholder' to resolve Kashmir issue. The lawyers' body denounced declaring of J&K Liberation Front (JKLF), as an 'unlawful association' and terms the material relied upon for declaring it as an 'unlawful association' 'farfetched and imaginary.'In a statement issued here, the General Secretary of the lawyers' body Mohammad Ashraf Bhat said that ban was also contrary to the well-established principles of freedom of speech and expression and association.In order to register its protest against the banning, the Bar Association endorsed the strike call given by Joint Resistance Leadership for March 24. 'The Bar Association once again reiterates that peaceful demonstration is an attribute of right to free speech and assembly and a visible representation of the feelings or sentiments of an individual or a group and is permissible under international law, which governs the international relations between the communities,' he said, adding, 'JKLF, which has adopted a path of non-violence and is seeking a peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of all the three regions of the State, cannot be therefore said to be indulging in activities and articulations intended to disrupt any kind of integrity of any country.' It appears that it was only because of the ensuing Parliamentary Elections that JKLF has been declared as an 'unlawful association' as otherwise it has been peacefully advocating its cause and has even entered into a dialogue with the government of India as a stakeholder and its identity as such has been acknowledged by the Government of India as well. Election Stunt: JKLF JKLF on Saturday rejected the Government of India's ban on the party and termed it as 'frustration and election stunt' of Narendra Modi. 'Such undemocratic and immoral Indian acts can't subdue our national resolve of freedom. Every citizen of J&K and each and every JKLF member will fight these acts with valour and passion,' said acting chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Abdul Hameed Butt in a statement. 'The world knows that JKLF in 1987-88 with the inception of military struggle against India succeeded in highlighting and diverting the attention of the international community towards the UN recognized Kashmir issue. Later after the persuasion of the international community and Indian civil society, JKLF renounced its militant wing in 1994 and tread the path of peaceful and non-violent struggle for freedom and right of self-determination.' He castigated Indian authorities for 'not sparing JKLF even after the announcement of the ceasefire', saying that 'Indian forces killed more than 600 party cadres'. 'Our chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik survived 6 life attempts. India tried to push Yasin Malik and his associates back to militancy by not providing any political space but it was his strong commitment of peaceful struggle that he did not fell prey to Indian plan,' he said. 'Banning our party is not a new thing for us to face. In early nineties, the then Indian Home Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed through the then so-called State governor Jagmohan banned JKLF and on our challenge, it was in 2001 when a tribunal of Supreme Court of India after marathon testimonies announced the banning of JKLF as unlawful and uncalled for. Soon after lifting the ban, our party led by its chairman Yasin Malik undertook most famous eighteen-month-long signature campaign, 116-day-long freedom march, hunger strikes, voluntary arrests and countless peaceful and non-violent protests,' Butt said. He added: 'Even the two prime ministers of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh met JKLF delegation led by Yasin Malik. Our worldwide party cadres represented the people of Kashmir at different international forums, met with world leaders and their representatives, attended international and regional conferences and deliberated with the representatives of international and regional human rights organizations during their visits to USA, UK, EU and other relevant places.' Thus it was JKLF and its party chairman Yasin Malik who demonstrated and encouraged the citizens of Kashmir to tread to the path of non-violence, Butt said. 'Amnesty International in 1992 declared Yasin Malik as the prisoner of conscience when he was under Indian custody in Delhi Tihar Jail.'