Akalis say Indian army is ‘occupying force’

Srinagar, July 24 2013 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Punjab-based Sikh organization, Akali Dal President Simranjit Singh Mann has said that Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir are an occupying force and plebiscite is “the only possible solution” to the Kashmir problem.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Mann said that Akalis support the demand for right of self determination in Kashmir. “Kashmir is an internationally-recognized dispute after New Delhi took the issue to United Nations and the same later passed number of resolution for its settlement,” he added. He said that the-then Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru had also promised plebiscite in Kashmir.

Mann said that Kashmir “is neither a question of Pakistan or India, but it’s an international question. Prime ministers of both the countries cannot solve it unless they take Kashmiris into confidence.”

He said that India claims to be largest democracy on earth but there is nothing like it in its actions. “India is proud of having democracy, then why is she afraid of holding plebiscite in Kashmir? Plebiscite is the most peaceful way to address Kashmir problem,” he said. “Our party is clear about Kashmir. We have no hesitation to say that Kashmir is occupied.”

Coming down hard on role of judiciary in Kashmir, Mann said, “What is the role of High Court in Kashmir? Their duty is to safeguard the rights of the people. Let me tell you—whether I will face contempt of court or not—that the High Court of J and K and Supreme Court Judges are acting like mute spectators. They have maintained their criminal silence on Kashmir. Their conscience is dead,” Mann added.

He said the incidents like Gool, Markundal, Chattisinghpora etc “would continue till India is present in Kashmir.”

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