Statement on the fast worsening situation in Kashmir
As concerned Indian citizens some of whom played a role in solving the Amarnath-related crisis two years back, we are seriously worried at the fast deteriorating situation in the Valley of Kashmir which has witnessed the senseless killing of over two dozen innocent youth by the security forces in as many days. The army has now been directly deployed in many areas of the Valley in a shameful attempt to cover up for the utter political failure of both the central and state governments. This is evident in both the Omar Abdullah government’s inability to handle the situation and the central government’s lack of ideas and initiatives. The Prime Minister’s recent visit to the Valley only underlined the visionless policy of protecting the status quo at any cost.
With all emphasis at our command, we urge the central government to at once send the army back to the barracks and out of all inhabited areas in the Valley, release all arrested political leaders, activists and protesters, repeal the black AFPSA which has allowed the army to kill with impunity, and urgently start a real dialogue with both the stakeholders in the Valley as well as with Pakistan to solve this vexed issue once and for all. We believe the situation in Kashmir demands a political, not a military, solution. We hope the UPA-II will not leave this issue burning for another generation to solve it.
Dr JK Jain (Chairman, Jain TV),
Syed Shahabuddin (President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat),
Prem Shankar Jha (columnist),
Prof. Ram Puniyani (All India Secular Forum),
N.D. Pancholi (People's Union of Civil Liberties),
Manisha Sethi (Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association),
Yugal Kishor Saran Shastri (Ayodhya),
Prof. Nirmalangshu Mukherji (Delhi University),
Dr. Shamsul Islam (Delhi University),
Neelima Sharma (Theatre Person),
Zafar Mahmood (President, Interfaith Coalition),
Kamal Faruqui (Ex-Chairman, Minorities Commission Delhi),
Navaid Hamid (Member, National Integration Council)
Dr. M.H. Jawahirullah (President, Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam),
Lateef Mohammad Khan (Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee),
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan (Editor, The Milli Gazette).
New Delhi, 9 July 2010