Addressing a rally in Srinagar, secessionist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday called on the new Congress-led government to resolve the Kashmir issue and fulfill the promise made by the country’s first prime minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Now that India has a strong government, time for solution of the Kashmir issue has come,” said the Mirwaiz, who heads the moderate faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference.
Thousands attended the rally called by the Miwaiz to mark the death anniversary of his father Mirwaiz Mohammed Farooq, who was shot dead on May 21, 1990.
Business establishments downed shutters and vehicular traffic stayed off the roads aceoss the Kashmir valley in view of the strike call coinciding with the rally. Banks and educational institutions remained shut while work was badly hit in government and semi government offices.
In his first public address since the Lok Sabha elections concluded on May 16, Mirwaiz told a cheering crowd: “India’s first prime minister Pandit Nehru had made a promise to the people of Kashmir, and it was the time for the new government to fulfill that promise.”
Settng a deadline for two months, he said an agitation along the lines of the land-row protest last year would be launched for the resolution of “the long pending dispute of Kashmir”.
“We will launch a mass agitation after two months on the pattern of last year’s land row agitation.”
As thousands of supporters chanted “We want freedom” and “No election, No selection, we want freedom, ” the Mirwaiz said a march to the historic Lal Chowk will be carried July 13.
Women cheered the procession as it weaved its way to the ‘Eidgah Martyr’s Cemetry’ passing through various areas in the summer capital.
While seeking the immediate release of various Kashmiri leaders serving time in prisons, the Miewaiz also called on US President Barack Obama to initiate Kashmir specific talks.
(Inputs from IANS, Samaylive)