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Autonomy no solution: Mirwaiz
Srinagar, Aug 13 (IANS):
Published on 13 Aug. 2010 10:16 PM IST
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Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, Friday said autonomy was no solution to the Kashmir issue. “Autonomy is no solution to the Kashmir problem as people here seek complete freedom,” the Mirwaiz said while addressing a large Friday congregation at the historic Jamia Mosque in the Old City.
The Mirwaiz said Kashmir is not a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, but a trilateral one involving the two south Asian neighbours and the people here.
Commenting on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s call for establishing peace in the Valley so that the 63-year-old problem could be resolved, Mirwaiz Umer said: “We also believe in peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem, but there can be no peace as long as innocent Kashmiris continue to be killed by the security forces here.”
The Mirwaiz sought the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), withdrawal of troops from populated areas as well as release of political detainees and youth.
He appealed to the hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani whose group has been giving weekly resistance programmes here, to ensure that no protest march or shutdown is called on Fridays so that people could offer prayers at mosques across the Valley during the holy month of Ramadan. The Mirwaiz, however, added that his group would fully support the weekly resistance calendar issued by Geelani’s group as, according to him, “the separatist leadership is united to carry forward the present separatist campaign”.
Mirwaiz Umer, who had been placed under house arrest by the authorities during the last three weeks, reached the Jamia Mosque Friday as authorities removed preventive restrictions placed around his Nigeen residence in the city.
Authorities had also removed all restrictions in Srinagar to allow people to join the Friday prayers, the day being the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan which began here Thursday.

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