Moderate Hurriyat Conference.chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was willing to cooperate with any investigation, but accusing him of terror funding was "ridiculous and political vendetta", its former chairman and executive member Abdul Gani Bhat said Wednesday. The Hurriyat Wednesday held an emergency meeting at party headquarters in Rajbagh here where it discussed the present political scenario, especially the summoning of its chairman to Delhi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bhat, on the summoning of Mirwaiz by the NIA, said a "hostile environment" was being "wilfully generated to cause harassment". "Mirwaiz has made it absolutely clear that he is willing to cooperate with any investigation but what is upsetting is that a hostile environment is being wilfully generated to cause harassment," he said.
The Hurriyat leader said Mirwaiz represents an office which is "so sacred" that interference in any form or at any level with his position "is extremely likely to inflict a wound deep into the collective political consciousness of Kashmir". "Let there be no mistake about it that Hurriyat as a forum is democratic in essence and does not therefore believe in violence in any form or manifestation let alone so called terror-funding," he said.
Bhat said Mirwaiz himself was a victim of violence and as a matter of fact, the forum has all along been actively supporting efforts aimed at building abiding relations between India and Pakistan "which is where our position to resolve the dispute through talks needs to be appreciated". "To accuse him of having anything to do with so called terror funding is ridiculous and nothing more than political vendetta," the former Hurriyat chairman said.
Batting for talks to resolve issues between India and Pakistan, Bhat said the people in both the countries can hardly afford to live with tension, acrimony and ill-will. "India and Pakistan as nuclear powers can hardly exhibit laxity towards tomorrow. We have to live together and live peacefully to ensure prosperity and development. What constitutes an obstacle will have to be addressed. Talks are the call of times. Let's take the call and move ahead towards a brighter future and a better region," the separatist leader said.
(With inputs from agencies.)