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Kashmir not a piece of real estate: Mirwaiz

KARACHI: After 57 days under house arrest, Kashmiri leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was released and allowed to attend Friday prayers at Jama Masjid in Srinagar. The Mirwaiz had been under house arrest since June 23.

On Friday afternoon, the chairman of the Awami Action Committee tweeted a photo from his official and verified account @MirwaizKashmir and said: “#Housearrest ends after 57 days, spoke at #JamaMasjid. GOI must realise aggression& repression can never resolve anything but only aggravate it.”

An hour later, he tweeted again and said: “For the past 70years people of Kashmir are born raised live & die with the fact that Kashmir is a disputed place waiting a final resolution.”

He also uploaded a two-minute video with the tweet.

“I don’t want to appeal to Indian politicians or parties, I want to appeal to the people of India…to those people who can understand the pain and hurt and I want to tell them…I want to tell them that Kashmir is not a piece of real estate, Kashmir is not a part of property…this is not a territorial or land dispute between India and Pakistan.

“This is a humanitarian problem…one in which not a couple but thousands of houses have been destroyed…a line has been drawn to separate one part from another. The people of Pakistan and India have celebrated 70 years of their independence this week but the unfortunate people of Jammu Kashmir have been suffering from the past 70 years…do these people not have the right to lead a peaceful life? To celebrate their independence?” he says in the video.

“How long will the violence go on for? How many more people will die? How long will we be targeted for? How long will the innocent people of Kashmir be sacrificed for?”

The Mirwaiz is very active on social media and posts regular updates about the situation in Kashmir. Till Aug 11, he was not allowed to attend or deliver a sermon at Jama Masjid. He tweeted: “For the 8th successive Friday not allowed to deliver sermon at JamaMasjid. Confining leadership & caging people in jails will not browbeat us.”

He was also banned from attending the funeral of his maternal uncle, Tariq Ahmed Buch, in July, according to a tweet: “As I defied house arrest to lead Jinazah prayers of my maternal uncle& close aide Tariq Ahmed Buch, Arrested & detained at police station!”

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Azhar Hashmi

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