'Repression can't resolve Kashmir problem, compassion can'
Senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Friday warned India that repression can never resolve the Kashmir problem and killing one militant will only produce 10 more.
Delivering a fiery speech at the Friday congressional prayers inside the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area, Mirwaiz Umer said: "Aggression and repression can never resolve issues but only aggravate them.
"As long as there is repression and force as the State response, you may kill one (militant) but 10 more will stand up. Killing them (militants) is no solution as is evident from the huge attendance at their funerals.
"Those who think the Kashmir problem can be resolved by killing militants must understand that militancy is a reaction to repression," he added.
The leader of the moderate wing of Hurriyat Conference said the people of Jammu and Kashmir were waiting for a final resolution of their political problem which alone, he added, will end their suffering.
He said a resolution of the issue was possible provided there was willingness to accept facts with "compassion, humanity and mutual respect".
The crowd roared with pro-freedom slogans when the Mirwaiz said repression cannot stop people from seeking their right of self-determination as guaranteed by the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Kashmir.
Immediately after the Friday prayers, dozens of stone-pelting youths clashed with security forces in Nowhatta.
Security forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters, who kept re-grouping from the lanes and bylanes of the densely populated area.
Several people were injured in the clashes, police said.
The statement from Mirwaiz Umer assumes significance as it comes three days after he welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech where Modi said that neither 'goli' (bullet) nor 'gaali' (abuse) would resolve the Kashmir problem.
Modi then said that there can be peace only by "embracing the people of Kashmir".
Authorities on Friday lifted the six-week-long house arrest restrictions on the Mirwaiz following which he offered Friday prayers at Jama Masjid and also delivered the traditional Friday sermon.
The hardline senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, continues to undergo treatment in the super specialty Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar where he was admitted after he complained of abdominal pain and weakness.
Another separatist leader, Muhammad Yasin Malik, who heads the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was released from detention last week. - IANS