Shah criticises Hurriyat for silence over Hizbul commander's killing
29 March 2003
The Hindustan Times
MI Jehangir (Press Trust of India)
MI Jehangir (Press Trust of India)Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah on Sunday lambasted the Hurriyat Conference for its silence over the killing of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Abdul Majid Dar last week saying a lack of proper response from the amalgam had unnecessarily raised suspicion about the slain commander's character. It is surprising that Hurriyat Conference has not come out with a befitting response to the assassination of Dar. Most of the senior leaders of the Hurriyat were not even present at his Rasm-e-Chaharum (fourth day ceremony), Shah told PTI here. Shah said the silence adopted by Hurriyat over Dar's killing had unnecessarily raised suspicion over his character and he was seen by many as a traitor instead of a front ranking freedom fighter that he was. Even the freedom loving people of Sopore, Dar's native town, who have made a lot of sacrifices for the Kashmir cause chose to stay away from the bereaved family, he added. Hurriyat Conference's silence is very sad despite the fact that Dar had taken into confidence all the leaders before announcing the ceasefire with Government of India, Shah said. Shah even went on to claim that the ceasefire announced by Dar was not his brain child but effected on the instructions of Hizb supremo Syed Salahuddin, who is based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 'Dar met me and other freedom loving leaders not once but twice before and during the ceasefire. But his attempts for a peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue were later disowned by many a leader for reasons better known to them,' Shah said in a veiled attack on the 25-party conglomerate.Shah said he felt it was his duty to put Dar's killing in the right perspective before the people of Jammu and Kashmir and clear any misgivings about his character. 'My conscience shook me up and I decided to put the facts before the public. I am not afraid of anything,' he added. Shah had openly lambasted Hurriyat leadership at Sopore on Dar's fourth day ceremony for their absence. If the Hurriyat top brass could camp for four days in Sopore on the death of professor Ghulam Rasool Baccha, didn't Dar's family even deserve a courtesy call, he questioned. Shah, who was declared 'prisoner of conscience' by Amnesty International in early 1990's, said Hurriyat Conference was mistaken over his efforts to unite the separatist camp as an attempt to join the amalgam. 'My desire is not to join the amalgam. I wrote to the Hurriyat leadership to unite on a common platform to give a decisive direction to the movement,' he added. 'No body should harbour any misgivings about my intention. I have not emerged in the post militancy era. I have been around for long enough for anybody to think that I am eager 'to join their bandwagon',' Shah said.