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Pro-freedom Kashmiri leader terms Narendra Modi’s Divali visit as election stunt

October 23, 2014 | By

Srinagar, Kashmir: The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani Wednesday hit out at New Delhi for “playing politics on rehabilitation of flood victims in disputed territory of Kashmir.”

“The scheduled visit of Indian Prime Minister of India NarendraModi to Kashmir on the occasion of Diwali is a sheer election stunt aimed to woo voters in the Valley,” Geelani said, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters at Hyderpora.

Elaborating further he said, “For past over a month, Narendra Modi did not announce any rehabilitation package for flood victims in Kashmir. Now he suddenly announced to spend Diwali with flood victims while the Indian Air Force sent bills worth Rs 650 crore to the state government for undertaking the much-hyped rescue operations during floods in Kashmir.”

Pro-freedom Kashmiri leader said during natural calamities in others states of India, the response of the government is quick. “Payment of interim relief of Rs 75000 to those Kashmiris whose houses collapsed in floods is an insult to their injury. For this paltry amount, even debris of the collapsed houses cannot be cleared,” he said.

[File Photo]

[File Photo]

He said on September 5, the Indian Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh had announced construction of safe zones for Kashmiris Pandits and payment of Rs 20 lakh to each of them. “This clearly shows that BJP-led government does not have any sympathy with Kashmiri Muslims and its only agenda is to strengthen its vote bank,” he said.

“Modi selected Diwali to visit Kashmir but it does not hold any significance for Kashmiris. Besides, he (Modi) wants to shun his communal image and portray himself as a secular person to woo Hindu and Pandit votes in the state,” he said.

The Hurriyat (G) Chairman said “Modi should remember that Jammu and Kashmir is not an integral part of India but a disputed territory since 1947.”

“This fact has been acknowledged even by the United Nations which has given Kashmiris right to self-determination and India as signatory to the resolutions is denying it to people of Kashmir by its military might,” he said.

Geelani said by undertaking rehabilitation of flood victims in Kashmir, “India won’t do any favour to Kashmiris.” “People of Jammu and Kashmir pay crores of rupees as tax to Government of India. Besides India has been generating electricity for many of its states by exploiting our natural resources. Army has occupied 28 lakh kanals of forest land in the Valley. Had Kashmir been an independent country, it could have managed to generate resources for rehabilitations of flood victims. Ironically, India even disallowed help to Kashmiris by several foreign countries. This shows its double standards on Kashmir,” he said.

“It is ironically that when hundreds of people have been rendered homeless by floods, India has sounded poll bugle in the state. Modi is only concerned about elections and not the plight of Kashmiris.”

Geelani made a fervent appeal to people of Kashmir to observe complete shutdown on Thursday to protest the Modi’s visit. “Kashmiris should realize that 95 percent of relief and rehabilitation process was mostly undertaken by pro-freedom groups and youth. Many youth lost their lives in rescue operations. I make a fervent appeal to people to observe complete shutdown against Modi’s visit to make him realize that Kashmir is a disputed territory and Kashmiris are resilient even after suffering massive devastation of their properties in floods,” he said.

He also called for a complete shutdown on October 27 against “landing of Indian troops on this day in 1947.”

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