Top pro-freedom groups agree to unite on three ‘anti-Kashmir’ issues

SRINAGAR: Pro-freedom groups – two factions of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front – on Monday decided on an ‘issue-based unity’ to oppose the recent proposals of the government in Jammu and Kashmir, including setting up of colonies for retired Army men, composite township for migrant Kashmiri Pandits and the new industrial policy.

Three senior pro-freedom leader – Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik – held a joint meeting at Geelani’s office-cum-residence this evening wherein they decided to jointly counter the recent plans of the government, which they have repeatedly termed as “anti-Kashmir” and said they were motivated by Hindu ideologue group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The leaders jointly called for shutdown across Kashmir on Thursday, May 26, and protest demonstrations after midday congregational prayers on the next day, Friday. This was announced soon after the meeting.

The joint meeting of the three leaders and the joint announcement of shutdown was apparently the result of the recent statements where the leaders insisted upon unity among pro-freedom groups.

Moreover, faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, held an Executive Council meeting at its Rajbagh office today. “The executive council authorised chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to decide for issue-based unity on the recent issues of Sainik colonies, clusters for Kashmiri Pandits and industrial policy,” said former party chairman and senior executive member, Abdul Gani Bhat.

“Any future programme on these three issues will be decided and announced jointly by the resistance leadership,” Bhat said.

After the joint meeting, spokesperson of Geelani-led Hurriyat said all the three leaders maintained that the time has come “when the people should rise to defend their existence, individuality, their Muslim identity and the disputed status of the Kashmir and to start an effective struggle against the dangerous plans of RSS in Kashmir.”

Inputs by KNS