In his first reaction since India unilaterally revoked limited-autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said that the right-wing Narendra Modi government can’t change the ground reality by making amendments to the country’s constitution.
Mirwaiz, who is Kashmir’s chief cleric, told BBC Urdu that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi must adopt the approach of India’s former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who also was a Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party leader.
“I think the government of India must understand that as far as the current situation is concerned, making changes (to the Constitution) will not change the ground reality. Today or tomorrow India has to solve the Kashmir dispute.”
“It is better for India to change its approach and return to Vajapyee’s understanding and approach. He held talks with Pakistanis, he held talks with Kashmiris and I think that is the way to move ahead and resolve the dispute,” Mirwaiz, who has been in house detention since August 4, 2019, said.
“By arresting us, emotions and feelings of people can’t be quelled. Through might India can’t kill the aspiration and our aspirations are rightful. Today from China to US is taking about resolving Kashmir issue and why are we being stopped. Kashmir has been turned into a police state,” he lamented.
Reacting on his reported release from the house arrest, the APHC Chairman said: “I came to know through media reports that my house detention is over. Some police officials came and told me that I am being allowed to lead the Friday prayers. But on late Thursday evening some policemen came and said that my house detention will continue and you will not be allowed to attend the Friday congregation.”
There were massive pro-freedom demonstrations at Jamia Masjid after the Friday congregation as the political-religious leader wasn’t allowed to leave his home.
“I am surprised that in India’s citadel of democracy, the Parliament, India’s home minister said that no one is under house arrest in Kashmir nor there are any political prisoners,” he told the BBC Urdu.
My house has been turned into a garrison yet again, he remarked.
Reacting on the recent border truce between India and Pakistan, he said: “We recently welcomed the truce but also said that the real issue has to be discussed. See as the chairman of APHC I have always talked about a solution which is in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmir people. We don’t want anyone to die here whether it is Kashmiri youth or members of India or Pakistan military. It is very clear that no one is listening to us now-a-days.”