Welcoming Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s assurances to Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, Saifuddin Soz says the “absurd vilification” of Kashmiris was only leading to their alienation.
New Delhi: Congress leader Saifuddin Soz said on Monday, June 19, that he welcomed senior Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s assurance to pilgrims that there was no threat to pilgrims participating in the annual Amarnath yatra, who have for decades been treated with the “best hospitality”.
Soz issued a statement saying that Geelani’s reference to the pilgrims as “our revered guests” who would be received by the people of the Valley as per the age-old traditions, “is the feeling of the general run of Kashmiris.”
The chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference had on Sunday termed the alleged terror threat to the Amarnath yatra – scheduled for later this month – a “calculated move aimed at maligning and discrediting the political struggle of Kashmiris.”
Soz also appealed to the media not to make the situation in the Valley worse by vilifying the people of Kashmir.
“Geelani Saheb’s condemnation of short-sighted elements in India’s civil society, represented by a section of electronic media, is also correct,” he said. “On my part, I have tried to warn these elements that through the vilification of Kashmiris, no purpose would be served for the Union of India and this absurd vilification has only been adding to the fire of deep anger and alienation of Kashmiris.”
Without naming them, Soz added that he had refused to talk to “two TV channels which are known for vilification of Kashmiris and told them plainly that they were playing a nefarious game which would never yield any advantage to the Union of India.”