Moderate Hurriyat Lacks Policy, Transparency: Shah

Moderate Hurriyat Lacks Policy, Transparency: Shah

8 January 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: Senior Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah, who along with two other separatist leaders has raised a banner of revolt against moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other members, has said the conglomerate ‘wants to make Kashmir dispute an internal issue’. He accused the moderate Hurriyat faction of lacking policy and transparency and violating the Hurriyat constitution repeatedly. Shabir, who is also the Democratic Freedom Party leader, in an interview with The Tribune said he had no personal differences with anybody in the Hurriyat Conference. “There was a meeting at the London office and the Pakistan chapter of the Hurriyat Conference, where we also put forward our point of view. We don’t have any personal differences with anyone. Our differences with them (moderate Hurriyat leaders) are only on the basis of principles, constitution and freedom movement,” Shah said. Citing the January 5 statement of senior Hurriyat leader and close aide of Mirwaiz Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Shah said “it is clear that the Hurriyat now wants to make Kashmir an internal issue by criticising the UN and its resolutions on the Kashmir dispute,” which he said formed the “basis” of Kashmir as an “international dispute”. He, however, termed Mirwaiz’s latest letter to Hurriyat’s Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) chapter a “minor” issue. “There are bigger issues involved. Hurriyat has been lacking transparency in its policies. Sometimes from this platform there are calls for bilateral talks, trilateral or triangular dialogue and on occasions there are calls for a secret dialogue. The point is that at least on these issues, Hurriyat needs to have a transparent policy,” Shah said, adding that the “preamble or the constitution” of Hurriyat has been “violated repeatedly”. On being asked if there were “some elements” within the Hurriyat who wanted to participate in the elections and if he was opposed to it, Shabir Shah said, “This is an open secret.” “As far as I know, nobody said this to me directly, but the statements appearing in the press indicate this. However, I have always boycotted the elections and will consider him a traitor whoever contests the elections under the Indian Constitution,” he said, while refusing to name any leader. “The Hurriyat cannot even think of contesting the elections,” he said. When told that an impression was being conveyed from within the Hurriyat that the trio - Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan and Azam Inquilabi - “are no longer part of the Hurriyat and that they have been thrown out”, Shah said: “Who are they to throw us out. We are the real Hurriyat. They cannot throw us out. We are not wearing bangles.”