A day after India sent a demarche to Iran for its statement on Kashmir, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday welcomed the statement saying "it’s encouraging" and ruled out any connection between Kashmir’s struggle and Naxal movement.
"Iran’s move is encouraging. There is a growing consensus on the global level on Kashmir dispute. Despite being at cross-purposes, Washington and Beijing have one voice on Kashmir that ‘it’s a dispute and there will be no peace in south Asia till it’s resolved," claimed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is leaving for New Delhi next week to meet Muslim ambassadors.
"I plan to raise political, human rights and issue of religious interference by the state with them...will also meet Iranian ambassador to thank the country and apprise them of Kashmir situation," said Mirwaiz at a press conference.
The Mirwaiz was visibly angry over the government move not to allow him to lead prayers in the last nine weeks and barred him from Eid sermon. "This is for the first time any Mirwaiz was not allowed to pray in Kashmir. I warn India and its puppet government here to desist from such tactics,” said Mirwaiz, who remained under house arrest most of the time in the last five months.
In response to the government charge of turning religious congregation into political rallied, the Mirwaiz said: "Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state. Islam is a complete way of living, which has politics too in it. How can priest remain silent when people are being murdered on the streets."
He challenged chief minister Omar Abdullah’s government on allowing even field for politics.
"If pro-India groups are real representatives, let them organize a rally. We are ready to fight a political and ideological battle. The government has accepted ideological defeat and is playing revenge politics. The government has launched a war against new generation for participating in protests and is asserting itself through the barrel of gun," alleged Mirwaiz.
He claimed even ruling National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah would propagate his ideology from the religious pulpits.
In reply to a question on Omar Abdullah’s statement on Naxal connection with Kashmir, Mirwaiz said "it's by design". "It’s conspiracy to malign the Kashmir movement. Naxal and Kashmir movements are different. This is just wild and sweeping statement by Abdullah," said Mirwaiz.
He said he will visit different states of India to educate masses on Kashmir in the next few weeks.
"People of India have to stop viewing Kashmir through Pakistan prism. They should look realistically and humanistic way. People living below poverty line cannot be prosperous unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved," said Mirwaiz adding, "he was all for India’s econonomic growth".