It’s time to bring the curtains down on Hurriyat Conference and their conglomerate and rescue the innocent people of Kashmir from its evil grip
On March 10, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman of Hurriyat (M), one of the many segments of the fractured separatist entity in Kashmir, held a meeting of the Executive Council of his conglomerate.
Nothing new in this except the fact that all the members of the Executive Council paid glowing tributes to two terrorists, Jehangir Ahmad Ganie and Md Shafiq Shergojri who were shot down, a day before, by the security forces at Padgampora, Awantipora in South Kashmir.
The Hurriyat stated that, “People of Kashmir would continue to pursue the mission of these youth with full
commitment and unity and will take the ongoing resistance movement to its
logical conclusion.” This implies that indoctrination of Kashmiri youth and their induction into terrorism will continue with full support of the organisation.
Heart Aches for Pakistan
Sant Kumar Sharma
The statement was carried prominently by a section of the media operating in the Kashmir Valley in alignment with the Hurriyat. The missive, therefore, reached out to the people of Kashmir and the world in general, especially Pakistan.
March 10, also marks the founding anniversary of the Hurriyat. It was on this day in 1993 that the conglomerate came into being, ostensibly as a political front to raise the so-called cause of Kashmiri independence but actually to further Pakistan’s illegitimate claim over the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir.
Its meeting on the day of its anniversary and the statement issued, constituted a message to Pakistan that the leadership will continue to pursue the agenda set out for it, so long as the finances keep flowing in. It was
essentially a marketing exercise. The meeting left no doubt about the intention of the Hurriyat to openly support resurgence of the “Gun culture” in Kashmir knowing very well that the terrorists who were being eulogised had, over the years, killed many innocents, raped women, destroyed property and government infrastructure and done everything in their power to subjugate the people.
That the terrorists have been
unsuccessful in achieving their objective is primarily because of the determination of the people to protect their freedom at all costs and the unrelenting efforts of the security forces. The Kashmiri people would never want a revisit of the ‘Gun culture’ that they have defeated with tremendous effort and sacrifice. The Hurriyat continues to ignore this ground reality while pursuing its self serving agenda. ‘The people be damned’ seems to be its abiding philosophy!
The present modus operandi of the Hurriyat is based on a high sounding concept of “joint resistance.” What this actually implies is that having been singularly unsuccessful in following their individual paths, the fragmented leaders now issue a single programme of forcible disruption of civil life through the medium of a “protest calendar.”
Since the beginning of this year the joint resistance programme has met with abject failure. The so-called “civil curfew and peaceful protests” that they have called for have men with negative or lukewarm response at best. When it becomes inevitable, people shut down for a few hours to facilitate a photo opportunity for the conglomerate and then it is business as usual.
Some of the occasions in this year when the Hurriyat programmes have been unsuccessful are the protest on January 5 for implementation of UNSC Resolution 47; Bandh call on January 15 on occasion of Army Day; Observance of Black Day on January 26; Bandh and curfew call on February 9 and 11 which mark the deaths of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat respectively and many more.
The fact that the Hurriyat leadership has never been averse to looking after its personal interest is not hidden from the people. It is well known that Hurriyat leader are not shy of claiming privileges while abjuring themselves of all responsibility. When it suits them, they garner favour from the Central as well as State Government. Such favours include first rate education for their younger generations from premier Indian institutions, lucrative government jobs, medical facilities, Indian passport for foreign travel, security etc. Their families are well settled in foreign countries or in the major cities within India while they, in the most immoral manner, spend their time misguiding the Kashmiri youth towards fighting for a future with the result that they have been isolated from their own families.
The lack of response from the people is a clear indication that they have seen through the corrupt, self-serving and warped practices of the organisation. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the conglomerate stands totally exposed and irrelevant.Under circumstances of such public abhorrence towards the Hurriyat, it is surprising that the conglomerate was being allowed to carry on with its secessionist and illegal activities by successive governments at the Centre and the State.
If there is any dithering and lack of conviction about the real status of the Hurriyat in the Kashmiri social fabric, it lies with the political dispensation of the country.
The end result of this political procrastination is that the people are suffering due to the obscurantist and disruptive practices of the Hurriyat. The worthless but endless calls for Hartals, Bandhs and stone pelting have nuisance value enough to cause considerable economic loss. Every young boy, who is misled on to the path of terrorism and later killed by the security forces, becomes a victim of the anti-Kashmiri policies of the Hurriyat.
Any logical academic from across the world would have only two questions for the Hurriyat — If it is a political front, then why does it shy away from contesting elections? If it looks at itself as the true representative of the people of Kashmir, why do they respond to other mainstream political parties?
It is time to bring the curtains down on the decadent conglomerate and rescue the innocent people of Kashmir from its evil grip. The nation is looking towards the government to take a strong initiative in this direction. It would be best if 2017 becomes the last year of the ignoble existence of the Hurriyat.
(The writer is a senior analyst,
columnist and an author)