Militant commander released in exchange of IC 814 passengers cast shadow on all-party delegation

A top militant commander, released in exchange of the passengers of Indian airlines plane IC 814, has issued a fresh diktat asking people to stay away from the all-party delegation, even as the Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked parliamentarians to convene a special session of the Parliament to declare Jammu and Kashmir as dispute.

Al Umar Mujahedeen chief commander Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar, who was one of the three militants released in exchange of passengers of IC 814 plane, asked people to boycott the all-parties delegation which is scheduled to visit the Valley on September 4.

Zargar along with Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Moulana Masood Azhar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh were released in lieu of the passengers of the IC 814 flight in 1999.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Later Omar Sheikh, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani court for killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Zargar, a resident of Jamia Masjid in old Srinagar city, is hiding in Pakistan since his release.

“Talks are futile. The armed struggle is the only way out. Our struggle will last till the Indian soldiers leave Kashmir,” Zargar said in a statement to the local media.

What has added a new dimension to whole crisis is Geelani’s call to the parliamentarians to declare J&K as dispute in a special session of the parliament.

“Indian parliamentarians should hold a special session of parliament where they should accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir, to pave the way for holding referendum in whole of the state that existed in 1947 in a bid to settle this issue permanently, peacefully and democratically,” Geelani said.

Hurriyat hawk noted that the Indian parliamentary delegation is coming to Kashmir after passing a resolution that Kashmir is an integral part of India.

“Therefore this delegation neither has mandate nor the intention to resolve the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. We suggest to all stakeholders to refrain from engaging in this meaningless exercise of meeting this delegation”, he said.

Amid calls for boycott, the curfew was re-imposed in Kashmir to thwart protests and marches post Friday prayers. People defied curfew and clashed with the security forces in several areas across Kashmir.

Dozens of people including security men were injured in the clashes across the valley.

“Curfew was imposed in Srinagar, towns of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Baramulla today. Thirty five stone pelting incidents were reported. After Friday prayers miscreants assembled on the roads and pelted stones on police and security force deployments,” a police spokesman said.


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