Mirwaiz to youth: Fight for right to self-determination

AAC Convention | Asks them to uphold Kashmir’s identity, defeat drug menace

The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said youth are the “pioneers” of Kashmir’s freedom struggle and the pro-freedom leadership will take them along “to reach the final goal.” Addressing a youth convention to commemorate 50 years of Awami Action Committee (AAC) at Shaheed-e-Milat Stadium at Lal Bazar here, Mirwaiz said it is very unfortunate that whenever pro-freedom leadership announces any program, the authorities scuttle it with the help of military might. “We are left with no option than to announce strike calls to show our resentment against the government and its forces,” he said, as people, including youth and young girls, responded with pro-freedom slogans. 
Over 5000 youth were present at the event. A good number of elderly people were also seen.
Mirwaiz said Kashmir youth have already shouldered the responsibility of freedom movement for the past many decades. “Youth have offered their lives and spilled their blood for the movement. 
They are the pioneers of freedom struggle. The pro-freedom leaders will work with the youth on all fronts to take the ongoing struggle to its logical conclusion,” he said. 
Mirwaiz, however, said the contribution of youth towards freedom movement would now be “more organized.” “It is not that we have to take to the streets all the time and protest,” he said. “Kashmir movement is alive and ticking in every heart and soul in Kashmir. We don’t need to prove that time and again.”
Mirwaiz urged youth to promise that they will follow the tenets of Islam in letter and spirit. “If our youth is strong, the movement is strong. It is unfortunate that 4 lakh youth have fallen prey to drug and liquor abuse in J&K. In these circumstances, how can we fight for freedom when our youth are mentally sick and not able to think what they are doing,” he said. “How can we achieve the goal of freedom when our youth have forgotten what is respect and what is honour?”  The youth present at the Convention assured Mirwaiz that they will “work hard to defeat the growing drug abuse in the society.” 
Mirwaiz, who is head of the AAC, said some agencies were working hard to divide people of J&K on communal lines. “Now people are being labeled as Gujjars, Bakerwals, Shias, Sunnis and Dogras etc. at the regional and sub-regional levels. It is a well-planned conspiracy to prove that Kashmiris were a minority,” he said. “We have to defeat such designs. We are fighting on two fronts: Muthaida-Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU) on the social level and Hurriyat at the political level.”
Mirwaiz also announced launch of ‘youth4kashmir.com’ website for creating social awareness against drug abuse; moral and social responsibilities of youth; and also the “ways to fight for the freedom of Kashmir.”
Mirwaiz asked the youth to take pledge that they will fulfill their responsibilities towards upholding the identity of Kashmir and to protect its culture and environment. He asked youth to take oath for fighting for right to self-determination. 
Mirwaiz called for unity among all sects in Kashmir. “We must stay united for a cause,” he said and raised the slogan “Kashmir katarjumaan, nawjawaan, najawaan.”

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