In a rare move by any separatist leader ever, All-Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has written an open letter to voters across the country asking them to push for resolution of Kashmir issue through their elected leaders.
“Whoever you end up electing will be momentously placed to exercise real leadership...Your newly elected representatives (those in power and those in Opposition) could collectively resolve to take a bold and visionary break from the past and could work together to pursue a serious political and diplomatic effort to resolve the Kashmir issue,” wrote the Mirwaiz in a letter published in a national daily and online news websites.
The Mirwaiz told the Hindustan Times that he chose the medium as the Hurriyat leadership is facing space crunch.
“In the past three years, the Hurriyat leaders have been intimidated through hooliganism whenever it tried to organise seminars or events to reach out to people of India,” said the Mirwaiz.
He claimed the attempt to write the letter was to dispel myths accentuated by leaders of p
olitical parties among the masses. “I made it a point to dispel the myth that leaders in Kashmir are Pakistan agents. A deliberate misconception is being constructed among the people. I want to bridge the de-link created between people of Kashmir and the Indians to make them understand the dispute,” said the Mirwaiz.
The separatist leader, also head priest of the Valley, expressed surprise over the Congress and the BJP manifestoes skipping any positive step on Kashmir. “It is unfortunate that I don’t see Kashmir in Congress manifesto, while the BJP reference only infuses negativity towards people of Kashmir,” said the Mirwaiz.
His open letter remained the most shared and debated on social networking sites and online news portals in the Valley.
“The direction that the next elected leadership of India will take vis-à-vis the Kashmir issue largely depends on all of you - the people of India - and on how effectively you can influence and support your political leaders to do what is both possible and necessary for peace,” the separatist leader wrote in the letter.