Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s statement that “people creating hurdles during anti-militant operations in Jammu and Kashmir will be dealt as anti-nationals and will face harsh actions” has evoked sharp criticism from separatist camp.
Terming the army chief’s statement an “apparent threat to carry out spree of civilian killings”, the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani today said, “Since 1947 India is carrying out these bloodbaths.”
“They want to strengthen their forced control and even won’t hesitate to kill every soul for this purpose. Their arrogance and stale thinking are the basic reasons for continuous bloodshed and political uncertainty in state. People of state and particularly the youth are up against this hegemony and suppression,” Geelani, in a statement today, said.
Commenting on the situations arising during encounters, Geelani said, “The people exhibit their extreme valour and without any fear even face tough and dangerous situations.”
He said, “It is scary that instead of taking this development serious, they are beating about the bush, parroting unfound theories and want to move us with the barrel of gun. This won’t help them as in past they tried these methods to dissuade us from our stance and in future they won’t achieve anything.
“The loss of precious lives is disheartening and nobody on earth will derive pleasure over human losses. New Delhi itself is responsible for all these gruesome happenings.
“New Delhi for the last 70 years is following these policies and exhibiting military might. They don’t value human lives and even least care for their soldiers, nor are they worried about brutal killings of civilians. Their egoistic nature has made them blood thirsty,” the statement said.
Ridiculing the statement of army chief that those having sympathy with militants will be dealt with strictly and will be treated as over ground workers, Geelani said, “It has proved his stale thinking and illustrates that their thinking is unfair and they lack political maturity.”
Suggesting to the army chief to revisit annals of history, Geelani said, “Three full-fledged wars were fought between India and Pakistan and lakhs of people were assassinated yet the issue remained unresolved.”
Lashing out at the pro-Indian state politicians, Geelani said, “Except these, all people of state are against this forcible control and these people for their lust for power and perks are acting as pawns and agents, thus proving detrimental for whole nation.”
Hurriyat Conference (M):
Reacting to the Gen Rawat’s statement, the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a statement today, said, “The threat issued by him to the people of Kashmir is unfortunate and reflects a tyrannical mindset towards the people of Kashmir.”
Mirwaiz said, “The army chief needs to ask the executive of his country as to why the institution of army is being used by them to crush a mass political movement of people demanding their political right and why do people at the obvious risk to their lives gather? Only because they see them as freedom fighters pushed by the arrogance of Indian state which is not willing to address the Kashmir dispute politically and pushing educated youth towards armed resistance.
“The Indian Army chief should be in know of the fact that people of Kashmir were fighting for their right to self determination since 1947 and India had left no stone unturned to unleash every known type of atrocity on Kashmiris.
“Only in the popular uprising of 2016 the tyrannical acts of the government forces have left more than 100 sons of soil dead, thousands injured with pellet guns, scores of them blinded and maimed forever,” Mirwaiz said, adding that before labeling Kashmiris as anti-nations, General Rawat should realize that Kashmiri nation is not fighting any nation or any political party but “striving for its just rights which the Indian state has dealt with by martyring tens and thousands of Kashmiris, subjecting over ten thousand people to enforced disappearances, burying thousands in unmarked graves, damaging property worth billions of dollars, harassing people, torturing youth with third degree in interrogation centres, oppression and suppression, arrests and detentions, restrictions, custodial killings and even sending people to gallows in fake cases.”
He said, “Instead of issuing threats to break the will and resolve of the freedom-loving people of Kashmir, it would be prudent for the Indian Army chief to accept the ground realities in Kashmir where government forces open indiscriminate fire on unarmed youth and peaceful protestors and detain and arrest innocent civilians in fake cases to pack detention centres, police stations and jails.
“Instead of reining in his trigger-happy forces, people are being threatened to face the consequences of staging peaceful protests, which would deteriorate the already worse situation.
“Indian military and political leadership has no other option but to understand the reality that Kashmir issue cannot be dealt with military might or with threats of war but by involving all parties to Kashmir dispute in a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue process, which could also help end political uncertainty in entire South Asia,” he added.
Reacting to the army chief’s statement, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik , in a statement today, said, “Threats and intimidations cannot break the will of nations that have resolved to break the shackles of illegal control.”
“This statement is a case of political immaturity and should not be termed but as ridiculous and absurd. Indian army chief by issuing these kinds of statements has shown his anti-human attitude and lack of political wisdom and this statement amounts to his direct threat to the whole Kashmiri nation,” Yasin Malik said.
Terming this statement also as an open invitation to many for picking up arms, Malik said, “Indian army chief must realize that he cannot scare a nation that has sacrificed more than a hundred thousand of its men, women, youth and children during ongoing resistance movement. This statement may add to the miseries of Kashmiris but it will also push many youth to the wall and drive them towards arms struggle and hence promote violence in this region.”
Denouncing the statement, the Jammu Kashmir National Front (NF) chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan today said, “Kashmir dispute cannot be resolved by issuing threats and warnings.”
“Indian army chief’s open warning to unarmed people of Kashmir is a serious matter and completely undemocratic. Holding protests to support or oppose any political ideology is a democratic right established internationally but denying of such rights to Kashmiris on institutional level was again proved when Indian army chief brazenly threatened the protesters with dubbing them as anti-nationals,” Nayeem Khan, in a statement today, said.
He said, “Resolution of the longstanding Kashmir dispute is imperative for peace, progress and stability of the region and issuing warnings and threat statements can only escalate the situation.”
He suggested that it is “very important for New Delhi and the heads of different institutions of India to come forward with a broader political vision so that political issues are resolved politically."
"Indian army chief should admit the fact that freedom fighters of Kashmir enjoy open and wholehearted support of masses that is why the men in uniform have to face the anger of unarmed people whenever a situation arises. This is utter unfortunate that instead of admitting the facts on ground persons like Indian army chief continue to deceive their own countrymen about Kashmir."
Hurriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir (HCGJ) leaders Shabir Ahmad Dar, Muhammad Iqbal Mir, Imtiyaz Ahmad Reshi and Ghulam Nabi War, in a joint statement today while condemning the army chief statement, termed it “declaration of war against the peaceful freedom loving people of Kashmir.”
“Indian Army chief must keep it in mind that this freedom movement is indigenous which is being nursed by our blood. Our proud sons of soil are offering huge sacrifices to end Indian control. The huge support to the youth who are engaged in the freedom movement is testimony to the fact that Indian cannot defeat the Kashmir's conviction of complete freedom from India despite the huge atrocities and heinous abuses of human rights,” they said.
Reacting to the army chief’s statement, the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) general secretary Nahida Nasreen, in a statement today, said, “The Indian army has already unleashed itself on the innocent population of Kashmir.”
“Whom is the army chief threatening?” Nasreen asked, and added, “We all, including our kids, are the over ground workers of pro-movement gunmen.”
“We are ready to sacrifice ourselves for militants and will continue to gather around the encounter sites and help them escape from the clutches of forces at the cost of our lives because they are our saviors,” Nasreen said, adding that “The threats won’t stop us from pursuing our dreams.”
Commenting on the raising of Pakistani flags, Nasreen said, “Kashmir is destined to become a part of Pakistan as it represents our culture and faith and we will merge with it with the help of a free and fair plebiscite.”