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Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 11, 2009

Head Office Srinagar: Tele (0091. 194) 30538
Branch Office Amsterdam Tele:( +31. 20). 4000610

Press Release
Holland, Dec 29, 1999

Commenting on some statements on him in Indian and Pakistani press in the context of hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IA 814, Hashim Qureshi, the Chairman of J&K Democratic Liberation Party said that he and his party severely
condemn the hijacking of the plane and the merciless killing of an Indian youth on board the hijacked plane. At the least this will be termed a barbaric act. Even after the expiry of five days of terrible ordeal, neither the women nor the
children taken hostages have been released. The young bride of the murdered Indian youth has not been even allowed to join the last rites of her husband.

We, the Kashmiris, are oppressed people. As such, we will not oppress others. Undoubtedly, hired people have been put on the job of conducting the entire plan of hijacking. The demand of the hijackers for a hefty amount against the release of the passengers shows that they are only mercenaries. We know that money and other enticements are no consideration for the people fighting a good cause.

Hashim Qureshi has welcomed the statements of the APHC and other Kashmiri organizations as well as some political leaders of Kashmir condemning the hijacking of the Indian airplane. He emphasised that this hijacking has seriously damaged the cause of the Kashmirs. Hence the situation created by the hirelings deserves strongest condemnation.

Appealing to the authorities in India and Pakistan, Hashim Qureshi said that this inhuman act should not be used to score points against each other at this critical juncture. The urgent need of the hour is to save the precious lives of
innocent human beings. Instead of hurling allegations on one another, the two countries should join hands to meet the threat of terrorism and terrorist acts failing which this gameplan of hatred and violence would engulf and destroy the
entire subcontinent.

However, Hashim Qureshi questioned the truth of the statement of Pakistan’s General Musharraf given to the CNN in which the General said that its was a lie and a fabrication on the part of the Indians to allege that the hijackers were
Pakistani nationals.
Hashim Qureshi wanted to know how the Pakistani military ruler came to know that the hijackers were not Pakistanis? How can he make a statement with such certitude? Have not the hijackers asked for the release of Pakistani nationals
and Maulana Masood Azhar? Does he know the true nationality of the hijackers? Should it not be called an attempt of diverting the attention of the people of Pakistan from the butchering of democracy in that country and the rising
crescendo of people’s hatred of military rule towards a drama of hatred and animus for India?

Hashim Qureshi stressed that though in the past he himself happened to be a hijackers, yet he condemned all acts of terrorism. He reiterated that during the past ten years, he and his party had constantly condemned state, group and
individual terrorism in all its forms be it the killing of Kashmir Vice Chancellor, Mushirul Haq, the kidnapping of Rubiya Saeed or the kidnapping and murder of foreign tourists.

Hashim Qureshi appealed to the authorities in India and Pakistan as well as the press in both the countries not to link the hijacking of Ganga (which he had hijacked) with the merciless and tyrannical force-flights of the Indian Airlines
flight IA 814. In the case of Ganga hijacking, the passengers were set free within one hour of the plane’s landing at Lahore airport. Though he was only 17 years old at that time, still, once the passengers disembarked, he had
apologized to them on the airport lawns for the inconvenience caused owing to the hijacking.

Hashim Qureshi appealed to the authorities and the press that the events of 1971 ought not to be seen in the changed circumstances of present-day world. He reminded that as a result of the hijacking of Ganga aircraft, he had to undergo
a long term of imprisonment and the additional exile for last 29 years. He said that for fighting a relentless battle against terrorism, he had become an object of hatred for the terrorist groups. He claimed that a sustained and
procrastinated struggle against terrorism and terrorists makes one a Nelson Mandela or a Yasser Arafat.

Hashim Qureshi emphasised that he should today nearly thirty years after the event, he should not be identified as Hashim Qureshi the hijacker but as Hashim Qureshi the ardent advocate of peace fighting the relentless battle against
terrorism. He stated that he had so far published four books in which he fiercely condemned terrorism, and violence against humanity and human rights. As such, he was trailing in the footsteps of the great personalities mentioned
above. He reiterated that he was for peaceful resolution all disputes on the globe including that of Kashmir. He said it was important to note that by giving publicity to those who support terrorism and making a hero of them would only
result in more terrorism and hatred. It naturally follows that those who have abjured violence and have accepted the path of peace and reconciliation need to be projected and encouraged.

Hashim Qureshi said that if people like Osama bin Laden are made heroes, then men of his ilk only will be nourished forcing societies to plunge into the whirlpool of hatred and the flames of terrorism. But if the path of terrorism is
given up and the efforts of champions and crusaders of peace like Nelson Mandela, Yasser Arafat and Hashim Qureshi are emulated, then forces will emerge in societies that would strongly support the resolution of problems through
peaceful negotiations

Hashim Qureshi conveyed his condolence to the bereaved family of youthful Katyal who was murdered by the hijackers on board the plane.

He also expressed his resentment against the Doordarshan for reckless slashing of his interview telecast a few days earlier calling it a media dishonesty.


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