Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | 8:56 AM

No threat to Amarnath yatra, pilgrims our guests: Geelani

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani has termed the alleged “terror threat” to the upcoming Amarnath Yatra as a calculated move aimed at maligning and discrediting the political struggle of Kashmiris.

“I denounce misinformation campaign carried out by biased Indian media. People in Kashmir while continuing with the age-old tradition of providing best hospitality to pilgrims have always been friendly and generous to visitors and particularly to Amarnath pilgrims,” Geelani said in a statement issued in Srinagar on Sunday.

Elaborating, he said that Amarnath yatra is being conducted for decades and the people here have treated the pilgrims with unique hospitality and received them as their guests.

“However, adverse propaganda has been launched by Indian media wherein they are propagating that Amarnath yatris are facing threat from people of the state. Terror threat to the upcoming Amarnath yatra is a blatant lie aimed at maligning the Kashmir movement,” he said.

“Kashmiris are not against any religion or its followers. They are pursuing a legitimate struggle for their fundamental rights. People for the past seven decades are demanding right to self-determination to decide their political destiny,” he said.

“Fanatical forces are desperate to give bad name to freedom movement and as such are relying on negative propaganda and following their fanatical dogma,” Geelani said.

Blaming “sectarian forces” for “communalizing the situation,” Geelani said: “It is a deceit and a well-planned ploy to carry out their mysterious agenda against people in the state.”

Strongly ridiculing “Indian media,” the APHC chairman said: “India is trying to mislead its people and international community by negative and baseless propaganda.”

“Indian media is working on the directions of the ‘Zafrani’ Brigade and their fanatical sponsors. These fanatical forces are relying on lame excuse and preparing ground for communal tension against Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir and as such are rhetorical about so-called threat warnings against Amarnath pilgrims,” he said.

“People should make Amarnath pilgrims aware about the reality of the freedom struggle of Jammu and Kashmir while continuing with the age-old tradition of providing best hospitality to pilgrims.  Agencies, saffron brigade and India’s biased media are providing misinformation round-the-clock about so-called threat situations in Kashmir and our freedom struggle,” he said.

“Now they have launched a misinformation campaign saying that people in state have ill-intentions against pilgrimage and Yatris,” he said.

Referring to people’s uprisings in 2008, 2010 and 2016, he said “Even in those gloomy circumstances, people despite restrictions and curfew received these Yatris with open arms and provided shelter and food.”

“It is our age-old tradition and in future we will follow this tradition with same spirit and receive these Yatris as our revered guests,” he said.

Kashmir is a political issue, Geelani said, and stressed upon visitors to feel the pain and see the issue through the prism of humanity.  “The issue has nothing to do with extremism or fanaticism. There is no threat to Yatris. I urge them to present the real picture of our struggle before Indian people and aware them about the historical background of this dispute,” Geelani said.