By Muheet ul Islam
The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, today said that the 1994 unilateral ceasefire by JKLF was brokered by the United States of America and United Kingdom.
After twelve days of detention during JKLF’s “voluntary arrest movement”, Malik was released on Tuesday from the Srinagar central jail. While addressing a press conference in Ahdoos hotel, Srinagar, Malik said that the ceasefire of 1994 by armed-JKLF was brokered by United States of America and United Kingdom and named a few members of the Indian civil society who convinced the party for ceasefire.
“After JKLF started armed struggle in late eighties, World powers and Indian civil society were asking us to abandon the violent movement and start non-violent movement. They promised us their support in our struggle if we would transit our movement,” said Malik.
Malik added that the United States, United Kingdom and European Union through their embassies in New Delhi were engaged with them for the ceasefire.
“In 1993 when I was shifted to hospital from prison, Kuldip Nayar met me and said ‘If you could trust white men, why not us?” said Malik. Another person who, Malik said, played a role in the ceasefire was the grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Jagmohan Gandhi.
“If India continues with its repression of interrogation on the youth, which it started after peaceful uprisings of 2008 and 2010, these things cannot be over ruled. We were treated in the same manner before we picked the gun in late eighties,” Malik added, while talking about the role of the new generation in the movement.
Reacting to the on-going Indo-Pak tensions on Line of Control- a de facto border, Malik said, “As far as there is Kashmir issue, these things will continue. Although we are not against Indo Pak trade and friendship, but the Kashmir needs to be solved.”
The JKLF has been running a campaign to press for the release of prisoners, most of who are serving life sentences or have been sentenced to death. Announcing the next phase of the programme, Malik said, there will be two programmes in each month. “One is sit-in protest at Srinagar’s Pratap Park, while another is Candle light march at evening,” he said.
The focus will be prisoners, Malik said, and we want all other groups to cooperate with us. He announced a 48 hour ‘Hunger strike protest” in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar in which, he said, they want to engage Indian civil society and a public trail will be held for our prisoners.
Malik had gone across the Line of Control in 1988 with Late Ashfaq Majeed, Late Sheikh Abdul Hameed and Javid Ahamd Mir- to return as trained rebels and launched the first armed struggle against Indian rule in Kashmir under JKLF. Ashfaq and Hameed were killed in gun battles with the Indian forces in 1990 and 1992 respectively. In 1994, JKLF laid down the arms and called for ceasefire.
Photograph by Shahid Tantray