Says no colonial occupation continued forever

Srinagar, November 23 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Riyaz Naikoo, has said that the UN resolutions call for holding plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to ascertain the political will of the Kashmiri people but India does not implement them and keeps labeling Kashmir as its internal matter which goes against the legality and history of the Kashmir dispute.

Riyaz Naikoo in an interview to “Aljazeera” said that his organization was not against negotiations with India. But, he said, negotiations can only lead to a fruitful outcome when they take place between parties that recognize each other as equals. “Negotiations cannot happen between a master and a slave or, as the great thinker of Palestinian armed struggle, Ghassan Kanafani, very aptly put it, as ‘the conversation between the sword and the neck’,” he said. He said that some Indian leaders insist that the Kashmiris must talk within the ambit of the Indian Constitution; what they really mean is capitulation. “They are not interested in honoring our legitimate political demands. They are only interested in pushing for policies and mechanisms that further entrench the occupational apparatus,” he maintained.

To a question, he said, “We will continue to stand up for our right to self-determination and we are ready to fight until our last breath. Most of all, we want to let India know that we might die in the struggle, but we will never surrender. No colonial occupation has continued forever, and it is our firm belief that the Indian rule in Kashmir will also collapse sooner or later, until then, we will fight.”

He said Kashmiri people are not new to the streets of Kashmir as they have been protesting the Indian occupation since 1947 and the oppressive Dogra rule in the 20th century before that. He said the Indian military occupation of Kashmir is the longest-running and the most brutal occupation in the contemporary era which can be compared with the occupation of Palestine in scope and intensity, yet the reality of abuses in occupied Kashmir is much less known. He said this scenario is not unique in history. “Such has been the case with all freedom struggles against colonial rule, be it the Indian freedom struggle against the British, or the Algerian movement against the French, or the struggle of the Libyan people against Italian rule. The people of Kashmir are the life-blood of our resistance,” he added.

To another query, Riyaz Naikoo said that the Kashmiris would not accept the occupation of their land under any circumstances. “We will continue to stand up for our right to self-determination and we are ready to fight until our last breath. Most of all, we want to let them know that we might die in the struggle, but we will never surrender,” he pledged.

He said, “We consider Pakistan as our ideological and moral friend. Pakistan is the only country which has consistently supported our cause and highlighted the Kashmir freedom struggle at international forums.” He said Pakistan’s creation as the homeland for Muslims of the Indian subcontinent linked Kashmiris to it historically as Kashmir was a Muslim majority region whose geography was contiguous with Pakistan. The people of Pakistan have always stood by the Kashmiris and their cause.

To yet another question, Riyaz Naikoo said that the determination, resilience and sacrifices of Kashmiri people – men and women, old and young, widows and orphans motivate them to carry on the resistance struggle. He thanked the people who in one way or other are fighting this illegal occupation. “We must also understand that we as armed fighters are not different from people. We are different organs of the same body,” he added.


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