Jammu & Kashmir: Separatist Peaceniks’ On The Verge Of Dividing Hurriyat

Jammu & Kashmir: Separatist Peaceniks’ On The Verge Of Dividing Hurriyat

27 May 2012
The Economic Times


Srinagar: Kashmir's separatist alliance Hurriyat Conference that is already divided on dove-hawk lines is on the verge of another split as constituents of moderate alliance led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq are restive over issues ranging from 'softening of stands' 'organizational reforms'. There were at least two instances in which the rivals exchanged verbal duels, chairs and bows. 'The latest on the front is that an executive committee meeting was cancelled because a section resisted holding of an executive council meeting at Mirwaiz's residence,' an insider who wishes to remain anonymous said. 'Shabir Shah refused point blank to attend any meeting outside the alliance's uptown office.' Instead, sources said, Shah has suggested a joint meeting of alliance's general and executive councils on Thursday. The discontent in the alliance was brewing for a long time. In May 2009, peacenik Mirwaiz suspended all office bearers and took over as the sole custodian, spokesman and leader of the moderates with a public statement that he will reorganize Hurriyat within three months. It is yet to happen and that has created a mess amongst its constituents. Early this month when Mirwaiz buddy and executive member Prof Abdul Gani Bhat talked about the out-datedness and impracticality of the UN resolutions on Kashmir, it triggered a severe crisis. He also suggested of creating a common minimum agenda with the PDP and the NC to achieve the goal of settling Kashmir. It is the backlash of this statement that Mirwaiz & Co are trying to manage. The division is visible. Mirwaiz is fully backed by Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, Molvi Abas Ansari. Those leading the rebellion within are Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan and they have support from Azam Inquilabi and Zafar Akbar Bhat. The latter are talking loudly about 'cleaning' the Hurriyat and 'restoring the Hurriyat constitution', the same reasons that Syed Ali Geelani offered when he affected a vertical split in the alliance in September 2003. Though Mirwaiz has distanced from Prof Bhat's UN remarks, the rebels within the alliance are seeking his head, something the cleric may not be able to do.