Kashmir separatists set up panel on protests | india | Hindustan Times
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Kashmir separatists set up panel on protests

india Updated: Apr 27, 2010 18:49 IST

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, on Tuesday announced a two-member committee to work out a common protest programme in consultation with other separatist leaders.

"A two-member committee comprising Muhammad Abdullah Tari and Aga Syed Hassan will hold talks with other senior separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Muhammad Yasin Malik, to work out a common protest programme," he said.

"The protests will be aimed at mounting pressure on New Delhi to demilitarise Kashmir, repeal the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and to highlight human rights violations here," Mirwaiz said at a press conference at the Rajbagh headquarters of his group.

He said the two-member committee will give its report to the Hurriyat Conference within two days so that suggestions made by other separatist leaders are included while formulating the protest programme.

He appealed to Kashmiris to actively take part in the census programme being launched by the authorities.

"There is a deliberate attempt to dilute the Muslim character of the state and we must take part in the census programme to defeat such designs," Mirwaiz said.

He welcomed private sector and business houses from outside the valley to invest in Kashmir, but maintained such investments should be free of New Delhi's control.

International institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are also interested in investing in the valley, he said.

"Such institutions should come and invest here. They are welcome, but these investments should be free of New Delhi's control," the Mirwaiz said.

He also voiced concern over the increasing drug addition among Kashmiri youth.

"The menace of drugs among our youth needs to be checked. The struggle for freedom would be meaningless if our society gets degraded through such evils."

"The Hurriyat Conference will work in close coordination with the elders of the society to ensure that such social degradation is checked," he said.