Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday dispelled the notion that Islam and democracy are mismatch saying “the two are compatible” and sought right to self determination for people of Kashmir at a United Nations’ convention in Switzerland.
“The Arab Spring shows Islam and democracy are compatible. Islam as a religion contains seeds of democratic principles and practices. Islamic scholars cite the principal and institution of shura (religious body),” the Mirwaiz told the gathering in his speech made during 19th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, Switzerland.
Speaking on the topic ‘Democracy & Self-determination’, the Mirwaiz said, “Year 2011and 2012 have proved to be one of the most dramatic periods in recent history about democratic rights and the issue of right of self-determination, and it is only half finished.”
Referring to countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya, the Mirwaiz said peoples’ protests toppled long-entrenched oppressive regimes to restore democracy.
Advocating for a democratic set up in the Muslim world, the Mirwaiz said, “Democracy must shape the various nations in the Muslim world and it is our obligation to make it happen.”
Seeking right to self-determination for people of Kashmir, the separatist leader referred to the covenants of the UN. “These Covenants, unlike resolutions, are binding in international law on the ratifying countries, subject to any reservation at the time of ratification. India ratified the covenants on April 10, 1979,” said the Mirwaiz.
The Mirwaiz claimed the denial of this right to people of Kashmir has brought two neighboring countries, India and Pakistan, to the brink of nuclear catastrophe.
“Kashmir has been brutally victimized by human rights violations perpetrated by thousands of military and paramilitary personnel. During the past two decades alone, more than 100,000 Kashmiris were killed because of India's mammoth military occupation,” alleged the Mirwaiz.
Claiming seven lakh soldiers’ presence in Kashmir, the Mirwaiz alleged all peaceful political dissent was being ruthlessly suppressed. “Yet the international community has remained largely passive, and crowned India with a veto power over outside intervention,” he said.
Claiming that bilateralism over the Kashmir issue has failed, the Mirwaiz said, “The Hurriyat was willing to forgo international facilitation, provided both the governments of India and Pakistan agree that the Hurriyat leadership will be fully associated with the peace process at a later stage”.
The Mirwaiz warned that people of any religion will turn to violence if all peaceful avenues of dissent are not available. “It is our duty to redouble our efforts to bring peace and justice to the whole world, not through brutal force, or dictatorial regimes or military might but through the weapons of moral persuasion, democratic values and universal principles,” he said.
Assuring the audience of acting as bridge between nations in South Asia, the Mirwaiz said he wants to see a better and a brighter tomorrow for the whole South Asian region.