‘Mohammad Yasin Malik pursued peaceful and democratic means of conflict resolution since 1994’
Srinagar: All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) headed by incarcerated Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday condemned the conviction and sentence of life imprisonment for Hurriyat leader Mohammad Yasin Malik by the court in New Delhi.
In a statement issued here, APHC said, “Yasin Malik since 1994 pursued peaceful and democratic means of conflict resolution. A strong votary of dialogue and negotiations between the concerned parties to the Kashmir conflict i.e people of J&K, India and Pakistan, he has been relentlessly and selflessly seeking its resolution.”
“Yasin Malik actively participated in all negotiations held on Kashmir after 2000 under various regimes in New Delhi and Islamabad. Yet he was arrested, shifted to Tihar and has now been convicted in invented cases under draconian laws, when actually he is being punished for his political beliefs on the JK dispute and for representing the sentiments of its people,” the statement said.
“The complete protest strikes being observed by people despite state coercion and pressure not to allow it, shows the commitment of the people towards resistance against force and in support of Hurriyat leadership in jails and under incarceration,” the statement added.
“APHC asks the Government of India to release all political prisoners in jails across India and under house arrest, and resolve the lingering Kashmir conflict peacefully through deliberations among the parties to the dispute keeping in view the will of the people of JK. Imprisonment and incarceration cannot change that reality,” the statement ends.
On May 25, 2022, Mohammad Yasin Malik was sentenced to life imprisonment in a militancy funding case.
Earlier, during the court proceedings, the lawyer who attended the court proceeding said, in the courtroom, “Yasin said that if I have been involved in any terrorist activity or violence in 28 years, if Indian Intelligence proves this, then I will also retire from politics. I will accept the hanging. With seven Prime Ministers, I have worked.”
On the demand by NIA for the death penalty to the Hurriyat leader, Malik said, “I will not beg for anything. The case is before this court and I left on the court to decide it.”
“I have already given me words in the court and now it is on the court discretion,” he said.
The lawyer representing NIA on Wednesday sought maximum punishment against Malik. However, Advocate Akhand Pratap Singh (court-appointed amicus) sought minimum punishment (life imprisonment).
In the last hearing, Malik had withdrawn his lawyer as he pleaded guilty. The Kashmiri Hurriyat leader has been charged with “hatching a criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country”, other unlawful activities, and disturbing peace in Kashmir.
He had pleaded guilty in the matter. On the last date of the hearing, he told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him, including section 16 (militant act), 17 (raising funds for the militant act), 18 (conspiracy to commit militant act), and 20 (being member of a militant organisation) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s former President Imran Khan said in a media interview that Mohammad Yasin Malik is a “freedom fighter”. He added that Malik can never be called a ‘terrorist’.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif condemned Malik’s conviction and termed charges leveled by the Indian court against the Hurriyat leader “fictitious and fabricated”.
The Senate of Pakistan also passed a resolution urging the international community to force India to drop all “fabricated charges” against all political leaders of Kashmir including Malik, and ensure their safety and well-being.
In a tweet, Sharif said, “Pakistan rejected India’s failed tactics against Yasin Malik, who was a symbol of unparalleled bravery and freedom”. He urged the international community, including the United Nations and the Human Rights Council, to take note of India’s extrajudicial measures.
The Pakistan PM said the government of Pakistan would highlight India’s actions against Malik and other Kashmiri leaders at all international forums, including human rights bodies and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.