Mirwaiz writes to Pope, Shankaracharya over Kashmir issue

Srinagar, Aug 24: Kashmir separatist, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has written to the Pope Francis, Shankaracharya and Imam of the Kaba to find a solution to the problem in Jammu and Kashmir. Farooq who is the chairman of the Hurriyat (M) brings to the notice of the three religious leaders about the violence in Kashmir.

The letter with Kashmir Reader states, "As I write to you, the present phase of the unceasing and unprecedented violence in Kashmir is over forty days old. Now a sense of extreme urgency has built up due to the inexplicable lack of response from the international community to this human tragedy.

Kashmir issue: Mirwaiz writes to Pope

Why is the international community being a mute spectator? Is it awaiting some even more massive human tragedy to unfold in Kashmir before voicing their indignation? Aren't 69 killings in less than 40 days, with over 6,000 youngsters and children injured - mostly blinded and maimed - enough for the consciousness of the international community to be stirred?"

The pellet gun

Farooq also raises the issue relating to pellet guns. He says that the indiscriminate and heartless use of the pellet gun at point-blank range on teenagers, with devastating consequences, has elicited enough negative reactions in editorials in Indian mainstream media.

There is an embargo on information coming out from Kashmir. Social network sites like Facebook have been forced to remove vital information from their sites under pressure from Indian netizens. No international human rights organisation is being allowed into Kashmir for fear of exposure, he further writes.

"The Indian PM attempts to delegitimise our long term struggle - which began even before India's struggle for freedom - by equating it with terrorism, through an irresponsible and false discourse. Unfortunately, the Indian state constructs its foreign policy on this bluster.

9/11 provided the Indian state an excuse to put the Kashmir struggle under the rubric of terror. In the post 9/11 Islamophobic environment it fits well with the broader narrative. Kashmir happens to be a Muslim majority territory and India is using it as a pretext to demonise a people as terrorists and miscreants," he wrote in his letter.

"The issue in Kashmir is primarily about the people of Kashmir and their right to self-determination. Our struggle is rooted in a quest for justice and dignity. We are the victims of sustained aggression from a democratic state, which uses primarily un-democratic ways to extinguish our right to self-determination," he further notes in his letter.

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