Northern Army Commander’s Statement Unfortunate And Inhuman: Mirwaiz

Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson and Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday termed the northern army commander’s statement as “extremely unfortunate and inhuman”.

The northern army commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh on Thursday said that 2018 was a remarkable year for the forces in Kashmir as they killed over 250 militants.

Addressing a Friday congregation at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, Mirwaiz said: “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 that those about whom the army commander is boasting of killing are not some hard core 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 what they (youth) feel, failure of political means to express what is 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 be able 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 martyrdom only adds to people’s resolve and pushes more young to join in.”

Instead of admitting this, Mirwaiz said, the armed force of a country 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 people of India.

Mirwaiz said those who are using militirasation to prolong the status quo should understand that it comes with a cost and keeps increasing complexities.

He said that while the incumbent governor has said that Government does not want to kill militants but militancy, if it is so and they are sincere then 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. “It will not only save the lives of our youth but soldiers also, end militarisation and the resultant atrocities that governor sb wants leadership to convey to him, and end the uncertainty and hostility that the region is hostage to for past 71 years.” (KR)

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