Kashmiri political party Jammu & Kashmir Awami Forum (JKAF) held a meeting in Shopian on Thursday and announced an initiative to denounce youths engaging in militant activities. The families of 118 Kashmiri militants attended the meeting near the District Collector's office. It was also attended by the parents of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Saddam Padder and militant-turned-Army soldier Nasir Ahmed Wani.
The families said, "since Youth is the future of Kashmir; we jointly seek assistance to the deprived, badly hit by present turmoil families for financial assistance for educational needs for their children."
JKAF chairman Farooq Ahmed said it is the "pointless violence" that is "hampering all progress" in the Kashmir valley. "The families of misguided youth who took up to violence are paying the price" while leaders who propagated violence "are leading lavish lives with a secure future of their children with foreign education," he added.
As a symbol of "Kashmir culture and hospitality," Ahmed also urged locals to welcome pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra.