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Shabir Shah rejoins Hurriyat

Shahnawaz Khan

Srinagar, January 14, 2008:

Senior Kashmir separatist Shabir Shah joined the moderate faction of separatist alliance All Parties Hurriyat Conference Monday, a decade after he was dismissed from the undivided Hurriyat Conference.

Shah had been dismissed in 1996 from Hurriyat Conference, the alliance of two dozen separatist groups, for meeting the then US envoy despite a boycott call by the alliance.

Announcing his formal return to the alliance at the Martyrs Graveyard in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir, Shah said the unity among the separatist in Kashmir was a need of the hour.

Last week Shah came out with a six-point proposal calling for unification among the separatist groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. The hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference came out with its five pre-conditions for union.

Addressing the media along with chairman of the moderate Hurriyat faction, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shah said that there was no scope for preconditions, given the moderate faction has vowed to uphold the alliance’s basic constitution of 1993.

The hardline faction led be Syed Ali Shah Geelani opposes dialogue with India calling it ‘futile’ and alleges that some members of the Hurriyat fielded proxy candidates in the State assembly elections, a process boycotted by the alliance.

The hardline factions also opposes the four-point formula presented by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, while the moderate faction supports it.

Chairman of the moderate Hurriyat , Mirwaiz Umar today said that there could be differences on the modus operandi, “but the basic goal is the same”.

“We all fight for right to self determination of Kashmiris. . . and we want an open discussion on all the suggestions and proposals that have come from Pakistan, or the US,” Mirwaiz said.

He also appealed groups outside the alliance to join and said the Hurriyat was undergoing a process of restructuring.

“I am appealing the groups, especially the former executive groups, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) to consider reunification,” Mirwaiz said after saying “Welcome home” to Shah.

The former executive members JKLF and JI stayed away from both factions of the Hurriyat since it split in 2003.

Another separatist, Sheikh Abdul Aziz of Jammu Kashmir Peoples League joined the moderate Hurriyat last week.

Shabir Shah's six-point proposal

Every party will suspend its party activities and unite in the single Hurriyat conference.

This new Hurriyat conference will work according to its 1993 constitution, that will advocate right to self determination and tri-partite talks.

No solution acceptable under Indian constitution. And those who are working for the cause of Kashmir in Azad Kashmir (Pakistan administered Kashmir), Pakistan or any other country will have come under Hurriyat Conference. No separatist party in Pakistan will be allowed to champion the cause of any political party in that country.

Every party will have to close their offices right from Halqa level and they will have to suspend their working committees.

Right from grassroots level to top, there would be offices of Hurriyat Conference every where. In these offices the members would be elected from different parties.

The members of central committee would be elected from the suspended working committees of individual parties.

Reacting to Shah’s six-point proposal the hardline faction of Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani set five preconditions for dialogue.

No bilateral talks with India.

No support to the formulas like the four-point formula proposed of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf, the concept of United States of Kashmir or to pre-1953 position of Kashmir.

Press for involvement of UNO for monitoring the process of trilateral talks for the resolution of Kashmir issue.

No proxy candidates to contest assembly elections in future, and election boycott drive should be made more forceful by campaigning against the elections in every nook and corner.

No short cut methods that deviate Hurriyat from its basic stand.

Related Links

Kashmir’s divided separatists

Hurriyat Conference (on Wikipedia)

Kashmir Conflict On Wikipedia   On BBC



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