Srinagar: Moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday praised Anna Hazare and his crusade against graft, describing him as an "old man" who has waged a war against corruption and "loot".
"You must be knowing that this time an old man has waged a war against corruption, loot. If we talk about Jammu and Kashmir, on one hand we face repression but on the other hand we are not lagging behind in corruption," Mirwaiz told a Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid here.
Making a comparison with Anna`s campaign, Mirwaiz lamented that whenever the people here have spoken against corruption and social-ills, they have been ignored by the media and the civil society and their voice silenced.
"When we talk about corruption, about the evils in society, our voice is silenced. Our programmes are being banned," he said.
Anna Hazare`s campaign, which mobilised thousands across the country, has found very few takers in Kashmir Valley, the place considered widely plagued by corruption.
Earlier, commenting about the recent visit of US senator John McCain, Mirwaiz said he welcomed "one part" of McCain`s statement in which he said India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue.
Mirwaiz, however, said he disagreed with McCain`s statement in which the US Senator had said situation in Kashmir had improved.
"The foreign dignitaries should talk to a common Kashmiri and know from him what is the situation in Kashmir. If situation has improved, why have not the black laws been repealed, why are young boys still being arrested, why is opposition being arrested," he said.
McCain, who was the US Republican presidential candidate in 2008, had visited Kashmir earlier this week and met Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while skipping any meeting with the separatists.