‘Govt should address cause prompting youth taking up arms’
Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday criticised Army’s Northern Command Chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh for terming 2018 as a “remarkable year for the force for killing 250 militants”.
Addressing Friday congregation prayers at Jama Masjid, the Mirwaiz termed the Army Commander’s statement as extremely unfortunate and inhuman.
“It is strange that a well-trained armed force meant to fight another well-trained armed force is celebrating and patting its back on killing young men and boys, some as young as 14, while some budding intellectuals and academics, and calling it remarkable,” he said.
The Mirwaiz said their boasting of killing not some hardcore armed guerrillas and terror mongers, but sentiment-driven youth forced to take to arms as a consequence of severe repression due to forcible control and failure of political means to express what was essentially a political demand for self-determination.
“It is simply the intensity of their passion that drives these young boys, who are poorly trained and starved of ammunition to give a real fight, in this greatly unequal battle to an armed force of a country. And yet these boys do and give up their precious lives for the cause they hold dear. The pain and loss that all of Kashmir feels at their killing only adds to peoples’ resolve and pushes more youth to join in,” he said.
The Hurriyat (M) Chairman said instead of admitting this, Indian armed force that prides itself in the history of its freedom struggle by honouring the likes of Subhas Chander Bose, who raised Indian National Army to fight the British colonial rule, sells the killing of these armed youth as a great achievement to the people of India.
“Many in Indian Army have in their write-ups and lectures admitted that J&K is a political problem that has to be resolved,” he said adding the entire world reiterates that there can be no military solution to the Kashmir dispute.
Mirwaiz said those, who were using militarization to prolong the status quo, should understand that it comes with a cost and keeps increasing complexities.
“While the Governor has said that the government does not want to kill militants but militancy, if it is so and they are sincere then the government should address the cause that is leading these educated and young boys to take to arms - start a political process in earnest to address the sentiment behind it and resolve the dispute,” he said.
The Hurriyat (M) Chairman said it won’t only save the lives of “our youth but troops also, end militarization and the resultant atrocities that the Governor wants leadership to convey to him, and end the uncertainty and hostility that the region is hostage to for past 71 years”.