Civil society India’s ‘fire-fighters’ in Kashmir: Yasin Malik

Srinagar, April 16 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik Tuesday charged the Indian civil society with acting as “fire fighters” for the government while accusing the international community of criminal silence on rights abuses here.

Addressing his first press conference after the authorities lifted the house arrest restrictions imposed after parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging Feb 11, Malik said: “Whenever there is trouble in Kashmir, the Indian civil society representatives come here and issue statements against the government.

“They act as fire fighters for the state and once the situation stabilizes, these civil society representatives disappear.”

Malik also accused the international community of criminal silence over what he alleged were suppressive and coercive steps of the Indian state to gag the voices of Kashmiri freedom lovers.

He noted that a sense of surrender and despondency had overtaken the JKLF after it decided to shun violence and start a non-violent democratic resistance movement, but hastened to add that the decision to abjure violence is a permanent one.

Malik also said the news reports of Taliban fighters entering Kashmir after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan were overstated.

“Ours is an indigenous movement and we do not need anybody’s help to continue our peaceful struggle,” he said.

Malik warned the Indian government that violence could again raise its head if non-violent democratic resistance was crushed with brute force by the Indian state.

“The question is whether or not India wants another generation of militant Kashmiri youth” he asked.

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