BJP forcing Muslims to take up arms: Yasin Malik

Srinagar: In the aftermath of protests against him by BJP activists during his visit to Ajmer last week, JKLF chief Yasin Malik on Monday alleged that the national opposition party was forcing Muslims in the country to resort to arms.

Giving details of the blasts at Muslim shrines and mosques in the country, Malik alleged that BJP was "pushing the Muslims of India towards resorting to arms".

He also said that by harassing Kashmiri people and leadership outside Kashmir, the BJP was pushing the youth of the state to pick up the gun.

Criticising the party for resorting to "goon culture", he alleged that it wanted to "set the entire sub-continent on fire".

"Since BJP lost power (at the Centre), they want to set afire the entire sub-continent," Malik told reporters at his party headquarters at Maisuma in Srinagar.

The former militant said during their tenure in power at the Centre, BJP released the Hurriyat leadership from Jodhpur jail and held talks with the united Hurriyat Conference followed by parleys with the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat and later with militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.

"The BJP claims to be nationalist but when we see their role during India`s freedom struggle, they were informers of the British and even killed Mahatma Gandhi, who won freedom for India," he said.

Insisting that "proper space" is required for the "peaceful struggle of Kashmiri people", Malik said, "We have made a transition from armed struggle to peaceful struggle and this transition is unilateral. We ask the Indian civil society to ensure that space is provided to safeguard this peaceful struggle," he said.

In response to Srinagar city police chief`s recent allegation that the protesters in last year`s summer unrest were "drug addicts", Malik said, "The Kashmir issue is 63 years and four generations old. Can this issue be sustained by drug addicts and those who have personnel problems?"

On a question about the political unrest in Egypt, Malik said there was no scope for Egypt`s comparison with Kashmir as the army in the Arab country had "a strong sense of belonging and no Egyptian was killed by them".

"However, there is a lesson for the people of Kashmir from the Egyptian revolution that non-violent democratic movements have many takers across the world," he said.