Srinagar, Jan 16: The shrinking space for non-violent resistance risks youths to take to violence to resolve political disputes, JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik said Wednesday.
Addressing the media here, Malik said: “In 2008 the youths (in the Kashmir Valley) took a conscious and collective decision in favour of transition from a violent to a non-violent one.
“In spite of this, 72 non-violent protesters were killed in 2008 and 124 in 2010.
“The youth is now faced with the dilemma whether the decision favouring non-violent transition was the right one. There is a risk that they (youth) might resort to violence in the future,” he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader said friendship between India and Pakistan had always been punctuated by tensions.
“We are not against business and other types of relations between the two countries, but unless the root cause is addressed, the tensions will continue.”
Malik said the JKLF had announced the ceasefire in 1994 after assurances from the US and the Indian civil society that a space would be provided to non-violent struggle.
“Instead of providing us a space, we are now receiving sentences from courts handing down life imprisonment and death penalties to freedom fighters,” he said.
Malik quoted the example of a resident of south Kashmir’s Tral town who is undergoing life sentence with two others because two rifles were seized from them.
Malik said he will stage a peaceful sit-in in New Delhi as part of the JKLF campaign against life imprisonment and death sentences to people engaged in the separatist struggle.