Srinagar: Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, stated on Friday that although many see J&K as a territorial issue, it is actually a humanitarian one that must be resolved through dialogue. He also expressed regret that despite advocating for peace, he has been labelled as anti-national, anti-peace, and separatist.
After being released from house detention after four years, Mirwaiz preached for the first time. He said that the four years he spent in house arrest were the hardest time of his life following the loss of his father.
“I was allowed to deliver sermon on the pulpit of Jamia Masjid after 212 consecutive Fridays. People are aware that after August, 04, 2019, I was kept under house detention and I was not being allowed to move out of my home, due to which I couldn’t perform my duties as Mirwaiz” he said.
After approaching the court, Mirwaiz claimed that a few police officers came to see him yesterday and informed him that he had been granted bail and may go to Jamia Masjid tomorrow to perform Friday prayers.
“I cannot utter my sentiments, but it is all because of the prayers of people that I am here again to deliver the sermon,” he said, adding that it was quite difficult for him to stay away from the pulpit for four years.
He claimed that since August 5, 2019, people have experienced hardships as a result of J&K’s unique identity being stolen and split into two Union Territories.
“As a Mirwaiz, I have the responsibility to raise the voice for the people. Since Hurriyat Conference continued to raise the voice, but the media stopped using our statements. I want to tell my people that it is the time to be patient, to keep faith in the Almighty,” he said.
He stated the Hurriyat thinks that one portion of J&K is in India, while the other two are in Pakistan and China, and that by fully integrating them, J&K will be complete, as it was on August 14, 1947. “As a result, this problem needs to be solved. Many may view the J&K issue as a territorial one, but the people of J&K see it as a humanitarian one, he added.
Mirwaiz responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks regarding the Ukraine crisis by adding that he was correct to claim that the modern period is not one of war.
“We have also been promoting the use of discussion to resolve the J&K issue. We encountered challenges while travelling the path of peace, but regrettably, we were labelled as separatists, anti-national, and anti-peace. However, we have no personal objectives; all we seek is a peaceful conclusion to the J&K issue,” he stated.
”We have persisted in calling for the return of Kashmiri migrants because of our nonviolent objective,” he added.
He also called for the release of all political prisoners, as well as of all journalists, attorneys, representatives of civil society, and young people.
Following his speeches, Mirwaiz urged the crowd to leave the Jamia Masjid in peace.