March 2003 News

Hizbul Mujahideen hails NC's statement on Kashmir plebiscite

16 March 2003
The Daily Times
Zafar Meraj

SRINAGAR: The Hizbul Mujahideen on Saturday hailed the statement by National Conference (NC) senior leader Sheikh Mustafa Kamal in which he said the NC was thinking of reviving the Plebiscite Front for demanding the right of self-determination for Kashmiris.A Hizb spokesman was quoted as saying Mr Kamal's statement was worth appreciation. The outfit applauded and praised what the spokesman termed the timely and bold exposures made by Mr Kamal, especially regarding the Chattisingpora massacre in which about 36 Sikhs were killed.Mr Kamal, the younger son of legendary Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and brother of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, recently alleged that soldiers of the Indian army were responsible for the massacre of Sikhs in Chattisinghpora three years back. 'Kamal's revelations are an eye- opener for the people who blame militants for the massacre,' the Hizb spokesman said.The spokesman said such massacres were a part of the Indian intelligence agencies' strategy to divide the freedom struggle on communal lines and present it in bad colours.The spokesman, Saleem Hashmi, gave weight to Mr Kamal's statement in which he also alleged that most of NC workers were killed by the army, adding, there was no objection if the NC leadership wanted to rectify the wrong doing of it's leaders.'However, the NC should shun the pro-India stand first and support the just struggle of the people of Kashmir,' Hashmi suggested. Two days ago, Mr Kamal, in an interview said the NC made a mistake by joining Indian politics in 1975 and there was a serious rethinking within to revive the Plebiscite Front that would demand the right of self-determination for Kashmir. He alleged that Indira Gandhi had deceived NC founder and his late father Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1975 into joining mainstream politics.He claimed that the deceit was proved when the centre did not fulfil any of the conditions outlined in an accord of 1975. Mr Kamal, who was trounced in the October assembly elections, felt that his older brother, Farooq Abdullah, should give up the uncalled for discretion and spill the beans, as the time had come to tell the truth to the Kashmiri people.Mr Kamal said, 'He (Farooq Abdullah) knows everything, but is still not prepared to spill the beans. We are seriously thinking of reviving the Plebiscite Front and change the course of history in Kashmir. Only then will New Delhi understand what the NC is capable of doing.' Immediately after his arrest in 1953, the late Sheikh Abdullah's number two in the NC, Mirza Afzal Beg, formed the Plebiscite Front, which sought the right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The front was disbanded in 1975 when Sheikh Abdullah rejoined mainstream politics after 13 years of incarceration. 'The army had clear orders to keep voters away from polling booths in Ganderbal, Tangmarg, Uri, Sopore, Baramulla and Noorabad,' he alleged.Mr Kamal lost in the September-October 2002 elections from his traditional stronghold in Tangmarg constituency. His nephew and NC president, Omar Abdullah, was trounced in Ganderbal.'It was at the last cabinet meeting of October 12 (four days after polling ended) that we came to know that the army had ordered its formations within the state to see that the NC did not get to power once again,' he said. Mr Kamal became a cabinet minister each time the NC came to power in 1983, 1987 and 1996. Being the youngest son of the legendary NC founder, he always wielded influence during his older brother's rule and was known for his access to the core of political power.Mr Kamal alleged that militants had helped Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's People's Democratic Party (PDP) come to power last year. 'They (militants) have not even once attacked the PDP rank and file, while both the militants and army killed our party's cadre with impunity,' he alleged.


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