After the Hurriyat’s 2002 split into the “hardliners” and “moderates” factions led by Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq respectively, the section led by the Mirwaiz Monday appeared headed for another split.
Facing flak from the faction led by hardline separatist leader Geelani who Monday accused its former chairman, Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat of lack of political foresight, the group saw serious differences crop up with leaders of constituent parties attack the Mirwaiz .
In a major development, Shabir Ahmad Shah, chairman of Democratic Freedom Party, Muhammad Nayeem Khan, chief of National Front and Azam Inquilabi, chief of Mahaz-e-Azadi, accused the Mirwaiz of “having made the conglomerate a personal fiefdom”.
Leaders of all the three parties which are presently constituents of the Hurriyat headed by the Mirwaiz took strong exception to a secret letter allegedly written by the Mirwaiz to the head of his group’s Pakistan chapter, Yusuf Naseem.
“We have a copy of this letter which has clearly asked the head of the Hurriyat’s Pakistan chapter, Yusuf Naseem not to entertain any separatist leader who does not conform to the dictates of the elements those consider Hurriyat their personal property,” Nayeem Khan .
“Our stand is very clear on this. How can you be representing ‘Hurriyat’ which means freedom by excluding those from its fold who fight for and seek freedom?”
Khan termed it a clear attempt to somehow manage the removal of senior pro-freedom leaders like Shabir Shah, Az1am Inquilabi and others including himself.
“They know if they initiated or attempted our expulsion from the Hurriyat in Kashmir there would be stiff resistance. So they decided to announce this through the Hurriyat’s Pakistan chapter. It is unfortunate, shocking and selfish,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bhat came under attack for saying during a recent seminar that the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir were irrelevant and Kashmiris should stop waiting for the Taliban to come and liberate them from India.
Spokesman of Geelani-led Hurriyaty said: “If the UN resolutions are irrelevant, then the existence of UN as an institution is also under cloud. It took 100 years for UN resolutions on Taiwan to be implemented. Our case is just 65 years old, how come we claim that the resolutions are dead?”
Asiya Andrabi, chief of women’s separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Milat went a step further and said those who thought the UN resolutions on Kashmir are irrelevant are “deadwood” and they must be expelled from the separatist camp.