BJP forcing Muslims to take up arms: Yasin Malik

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Srinagar, Feb 14 (PTI) In the aftermath of protestsagainst him by BJP activists during his visit to Ajmer lastweek, JKLF chief Yasin Malik today alleged that the nationalopposition party was forcing Muslims in the country to resortto arms.

Giving details of the blasts at Muslim shrines andmosques in the country, Malik alleged that BJP was "pushingthe Muslims of India towards resorting to arms".

He also said that by harassing Kashmiri people andleadership outside Kashmir, the BJP was pushing the youth ofthe state to pick up the gun.

Criticising the party for resorting to "goon culture", healleged that it wanted to "set the entire sub-continent onfire".

"Since BJP lost power (at the Centre), they want to setafire the entire sub-continent," Malik told reporters athis party headquarters at Maisuma in Srinagar.

The former militant said during their tenure in power atthe Centre, BJP released the Hurriyat leadership from Jodhpurjail and held talks with the united Hurriyat Conferencefollowed by parleys with the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat and laterwith militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.

"The BJP claims to be nationalist but when we see theirrole during India''s freedom struggle, they were informers ofthe British and even killed Mahatma Gandhi, who won freedomfor India," he said.

Insisting that "proper space" is required for the"peaceful struggle of Kashmiri people", Malik said, "We havemade a transition from armed struggle to peaceful struggle andthis transition is unilateral. We ask the Indian civil societyto ensure that space is provided to safeguard this peacefulstruggle," he said.

In response to Srinagar city police chief''s recentallegation that the protesters in last year''s summer unrestwere "drug addicts", Malik said, "The Kashmir issue is 63years and four generations old. Can this issue be sustained bydrug addicts and those who have personnel problems?"

On a question about the political unrest in Egypt, Maliksaid there was no scope for Egypt''s comparison with Kashmir asthe army in the Arab country had "a strong sense of belongingand no Egyptian was killed by them".

"However, there is a lesson for the people of Kashmirfrom the Egyptian revolution that non-violent democraticmovements have many takers across the world," he said.

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