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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Srinagar, June 20, 2013
All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday rejected the statement of the Jammu and Kashmir government that Amarnath pilgrims faced the threat of militant attacks, and called it an effort to defame the "ongoing freedom struggle" in the valley.

"The statement is a brazen lie … The yatris are our guests. We have always welcomed them despite the abnormal situation prevailing in Kashmir," the Mirwaiz said.

The Mirwaiz also said such statements were issued to mislead the international community. They were used to justify the militarisation of Kashmir, he added. The Mirwaiz was speaking at a seminar titled "Indo-Pak Friendship rooted in the resolution of Kashmir issue," at Hurriyat headquarters.

The statement on the website of the state home department said: "Considering the security scenario … the government has directed security agencies to take action according to their standard operating procedures."

Northern Command chief Lt Gen KT Parnaik had on Monday said, "Militants planned to disrupt the yatra."