Pro-freedom leader and chairman of one of the factions of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has admitted that there is a “disconnect between people and the Hurriyat” and the youth are beyond their control.
He, however, blames the lack of political space for dialogue for this situation.
“There is a disconnect between the people and the Hurriyat. We are not able to control the youth who are at the forefront of this situation. Our focus was always to keep the movement non-violent, but since we have lost the political space for dialogue, the youth have taken over. We are worried and concerned about their lives,” Mirwaiz told ThePrint.
Mirwaiz blamed the Delhi government for its failure to reconcile with and reach out to Kashmiris and said that the youngsters were picking up arms in big numbers each day, and no one was able to contain the situation.
“The youth has been pushed against a wall. Those joining militancy are educated boys who have, in one way or another, faced harassment or been victimised by the security forces. The government has not given them the space to express, or even hold a peaceful protest,” he said.
“The state has pushed the youth to join militancy. It is a compelling situation before us, because our space also remains curbed.”
The situation, he said, was painful. “We do not like to see our youth getting killed.”
He also said that dealing with an iron fist is not going to yield any results.
“There is more anger and hate towards the state. Dealing with an iron fist is not going to yield any results. The government of India is losing ground in terms of reconciliation and reaching out to the people.
“We cannot be silent anymore. We have decided not to be mute spectators. Whatever we can do to protect the youth and stop this bloodshed, we will. The government should also give an alternative to the youth to stop this cycle of bloodshed.”
Mirwaiz also said that the leadership has decided not to go for hartals too often.
“We cannot have hartals (shutdowns) all the time. We have thought of a mechanism to have occasional hartals,” the Mirwaiz said.