If you are sincere, release all political prisoners, withdraw AFSPA, PSA: Mirwaiz to Govt

Srinagar: All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while addressing the Friday congregation at the historic Jama Masjid said that the announcement regarding withdrawing of FIRs against the so-called “first time stone pelters” is nothing more than a cosmetic attempt on the part of a ruling regime which has a reputation of being anti-people.

Mirwaiz said simultaneous to this announcement a specially-abled auto driver Umar from Anantnag Islamabad was slapped with PSA and shifted to Kathua jail.

He while speaking about the ill treatment of political prisoners languishing in various jails, Mirwaiz said that if the government is serious, they should free all of them and repeal draconian laws like AFSPA and PSA.

“Thousands of Kashmiris are languishing in jails across J&K and in India for their political ideology and beliefs and are being subject to ill-treatment as a state policy of inflicting punishment upon them for their dissenting political views,’ he said.

Mirwaiz added, “The draconian PSA law is invoked against them on flimsy and baseless grounds at the will and whim of the authorities as and when they desire in order to keep them continuously in lockups. They are lodged with criminals and even basic facilities as per the jail manual including medical facilities are denied to them.”

Mirwaiz said if those in power are sincere and serious and there really is a change of heart and approach, then all political prisoners should be immediately released from jails and their freedom restored and all draconian laws such as AFSPA PSA withdraw forthwith.

Mirwaiz said that youth and teenagers hitting the streets is a reaction that emanates from the lingering Kashmir conflict and until the conflict is addressed and resolved in accordance with universal principles of justice and people’s will, hacking at the symptoms and outcomes of the conflict will bear no fruit.

“It is the root cause that has to be hit at and dealt with in order to change the conditions in J&K so that people of Kashmir especially the youth can be saved and given the opportunity to explore their potential,” he said.

Mirwaiz said people and leadership of Kashmir are most eager to play their role in promoting an atmosphere of peace and prosperity and partake of its huge benefits.

“But such a possibility can only be realized when Govt of India decides to address the Kashmir dispute in its historical background and keeping in view the people’s aspirations. It will have a transformative impact on the whole region and tremendous benefits for all,” Mirwaiz said.

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