Mirwaiz asks ’strong’ Congress government to solve Kashmir issue

May 21st, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Srinagar, May 21 (IANS) Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Thursday urged the new Congress-led “strong government” to solve the Kashmir issue and fulfil the promise of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Now that India has a strong government, time for solution of the Kashmir issue has come,” the Mirwaiz, who heads the moderate faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, told a rally here.

The rally attended by thousands of Hurriyat supporters was organised on the death anniversary of his father Mirwaiz Mohammed Farooq, who was shot dead by militants May 21, 1990.

“India’s first prime minister Pandit Nehru had made a promise to the people of Kashmir, and it was the time for the new government to fulfil that promise,” the Hurriyat chairman said.

Thousands of slogan shouting supporters marched to the Eidgah “Martyrs’ Graveyard”, a cemetery where the late Mirwaiz and hundreds of militants and civilians are among those buried, who were killed in the two-decade-old separatist conflict.

The separatist leader set a deadline of two months for the government to resolve “the long pending dispute of Kashmir”.

“We will launch a mass agitation after two months on the pattern of last year’s (Amarnath) land row agitation.”

The Mirwaiz said a march to the historic Lal Chowk will be carried July 13.

Last year the state government had scuttled the Lal Chowk march in August by imposing a strict round the clock curfew for nearly 10 days.

Crowds shouted “We want freedom” and “No election, No selection, we want freedom” at the procession led by the Mirwaiz who sat on a truck bedecked with green flags.

The state government had given the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference a green signal to hold its Eidgah rally. There was no presence of police and paramilitary enroute as the procession made its way to the venue.

Women cheered as the procession passed through the various areas.

The Mirwaiz said his group had a road map for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and demanded immediate release of the Kashmiri leaders in various jails.

He also asked US President Barack Obama to initiate Kashmir specific talks.

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