| GEO World|
| Mirwaiz vows to continue fight for peaceful Kashmir solution|
| Updated at: 1449 PST, Sunday, September 07, 2008|
SRINAGAR: Kashmir's top hurriat leader has warned India's heavy-handed crackdown on protests in the Muslim-majority region could trigger a renewed violent upsurge in the long-running separatist revolt.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also the disputed region's most prominent cleric, said New Delhi needed to accept that Kashmiris were as opposed as ever to Indian rule and a referendum on self-determination was the only way out of the crisis.
"We will continue to fight peacefully and politically," Farooq said foreign news agency in an interview, which had to be conducted by telephone within Srinagar city because he is under house arrest.
"(However) If India pushes us too hard to the wall, tomorrow you can't really ignore the fact the youth might be angered and forced to resort again to arms," Farooq said.
Farooq, 34, and two other top separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik have been placed under house arrest as security forces struggle to contain public anger.
India should be told by the "world community not to use brute force and intimidate the people," said Farooq, who was catapulted by his father's assassination in 1990 into the hereditary position of chief Muslim cleric for the area.