November 2001 News

Hurriyat cannot deliver: Hizb leader

22 November 2001
The Indian Express

New Delhi: The recent statement of senior Hizbul Mujahideen militant Assad Yazdani of forming its own political party appears to have stunned the Hurriyat Conference into silence. None of the Hurriyat Conference leaders was willing to react to the statement of Hizbul Mujahideen, which believed that the 23-party amalgam had failed to live up to the expectations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. ''We can frame our own policies and we do not want to take diktats from any one,'' Yazdani had told a local news agency in Srinagar on Monday. Asked to react to the Hizbul Mujahideen plan, the Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said, ''I have no comments to offer.'' Attempts to take comments from other Hurriyat Conference leaders also failed. However, Hurriyat insiders said that no leader wanted to annoy the militants and would avoid ''their heat'' as already some outfits including Al Barq had started training their guns on the amalgam leadership for alleged bungling of funds. Political observers said the new developments had left the entire Hurriyat leadership completely marginalised and it was the militants who were calling the shots. The gulf between Hizbul Mujahideen and Hurriyat started widening especially after the militant outfit suddenly announced a unilateral ceasefire in July last year which came in for a sharp criticism by the conglomerate. However, another statement, issued by Pakistan-based leaders of the Hizbul Mujahideen on Wednesday, has eased some pressure on the Hurriyat Conference. Sources say that the statement, which disowned Yazdani''s comments about Hurriyat Conference, came following frantic messages from the amalgam leadership to its mentors across the border. The new statement also highlighted the fact that the Valley- based Hizbul Mujahideen was in no mood to take diktats from across the border and the command and council of Hizbul Mujahideen under the leadership of Abdul Majid Dar continued to be maintained. Even yazdani confirmed this but in not as many words. ''Dar''s position is superior to what it was and his personal identity was at its optimum,'' yazdani had said in reply to a question about Dar''s position after the decision to appoint Saif-ul-Islam in his place.


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