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l November 03' l

The Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

l Vol 3, No 7 l


Hurriyat: A house divided


The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is a conglomerate of 26 political, social and religious organisations which came into existence 9 March, 1993. From the beginning, it has been a divided house with its clearly identifiable hawk and dove factions. There are in it those who seek the merger of Kashmir with Pakistan and those who wish to remain independent. Primarily, it is a stooge of Pakistan, taking orders from Islamabad. It claims to be an indigenous outfit unlike some other outfits which do not belong to the soil. The Jammu Kashmir Liberation front sees the future of Kashmir as an independent state, outside India's sovereignty. There are also foreign mercenaries and Pakistan-based outfits in Kashmir without any indigenous membership.

When, in 1998, Syed Ali Shah Geelani was elected as chairman of the APHC, other Hurriyat members and chiefly Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah dubbed it a 'Pakistan take over'. Geelani was the nominee of Jamatee Islamic (JI) and he publicly declared that he favoured the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan. He termed the Kashmir crisis a religious issue. On 13 July, 2000 Maulana Abbas Ansari was elected as chairman JI abstained from the election meeting. Pakistan did not recognise Ansari's election to Hurriyat chairmanship. 

That caused the election of Geelani as chairman. Pakistan went out of the way to welcome it. Pak television said that the Hurriyat's General Council and its Executive Council had unanimously elected Geelani which was factually incorrect Ansari was ousted because he was a moderate. He suggested opening of the dialogue with India to be followed up later by dialogue with Pakistan. Islamabad wanted tripartite talks. Ansari's suggestion was unwelcome to Pakistan which was afraid that bilateral talks first with India would make Pakistan irrelevant. The Hurriyat split over this issue.

Geelani says, on the contrary, that the Hurriyat has not split but has got rid of some black sheep in it that had emerged as its leaders during the last three years. Geelani says that the relevant criteria is provided by the Hurriyat's constitution. According to it, only those will be considered true leaders of Hurriyat who will work to uphold the constitution that clearly says that the Kashmir issue should be resolved in the light of the UN Resolutions and that so far as talks are concerned, they should be trilateral between India and Pakistan and the freedom loving people of Jammu-Kashmir under the supervision of the UN or any friendly country. 

To the question about the crime committed by the black sheep, Geelani says that, when the constitution forbade its members from participating in elections, these people participated, they had sidelined Pakistan and 'sat in the lap of the cunning Indians'. Geelani accuses them of compromising on bogus issues such as internal autonomy and that all this had disappointed and enraged the freedom fighters (read insurgents). All these observations of Geelani make one point very clear. Contrary to his stout denials, he is the mouthpiece of Pakistan; he is making the Hurriyat toe the Pakistani line on Kashmir such as asking for trilateral talks, respecting the obsolete UN Resolutions and glorifying the savages, the militants, as freedom fighters. If New Delhi were to involve itself with a dialogue with the Hurriyat, it would end up as a fruitless exercise.

The relevant detail here is that, when the international community or particularly the US asks India to resume dialogue with Pakistan, it refuses to concede the most valid point that India is making, namely, that Kashmir is not disputed territory and that those who have occupied a part of it have as much right as any aggressor would have. It is no doubt true that the prime Nehruvian blunder of first halting the fight in the hour of victory and then compounding that mistake by taking the issue to the UN stupidly overlooking the reality that no foreign institution had the right to arbitrate on the territorial rights of a sovereign country have brought India and its diplomacy to this pretty pass. 

Indeed Nehru created the condition in which the sovereign rights of India over Kashmir were foresworn to create the illusion of his being the right minded politician upholding high ethical values. The Congress for which those of the Nehru dynasty are the irresistible mascots have gone on the track beaten by Nehru. Congressmen therefore are the least justified in saying whatever they say in a sort of distorted criticism of successor governments.

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