Srinagar: In view of the appeal made by Sikhs to amend the protest calendar on the eve of Diwali, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani Monday exempted Friday, November 5 from the purview of strike.
â€œHindus and Sikhs are our brothers, and respecting their religions is one of our religious duties. They are an important part of our society. Our struggle is not against Hindu religion or Hindu people.
We are not against India because it is a Hindu majority country. We are against India because it has illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and broken the promises made to Kashmiri people,â€ Geelani said in a statement issued here.
Pertinently, All Party Sikh Coordination Committee had appealed Geelani to amend the protest calendar so that Sikhs and Hindus could celebrate the festival in Kashmir Valley.
Reacting to the critics of the ongoing â€œresistance movement,â€ Geelani said the Kashmiri people had crossed several milestones in the past four months and, for the first time, â€œour movement has been recognized as a peopleâ€™s movement.â€
â€œNo doubt we have suffered, but nations have to sacrifice everything for a big cause like freedom. Furthermore, no one is forcing the people to follow our resistance programmes, they are following them because they realize this struggle for the future of their coming generations,â€ the veteran leader said.
Geelani said the ongoing â€œresistance movementâ€ had left Indian establishment speechless before the international community and its own people. â€œFrom P. Chidambaram to Omar Abdullah, the ruling class, willingly or unwillingly seem to be admitting some facts about the Kashmir dispute while realistic people like Arundhati Roy and Gautam Navlakha have come out openly in support of our cause,â€ he said. Reiterating that the world attention would be focused on Kashmir during Obamaâ€™s upcoming India visit, Geelani urged people to strictly follow the protest calendar in order to send a message to the international community that Kashmir dispute cannot be solved without respecting the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people.