April 2003 News

JKLF Rumblings May Stymie Yasin Malik's Prospects

23 April 2003
The Statesman

New Delhi: Rumblings within the JKLF, sparked off by the formation of the International Kashmir Alliance (IKA), may derail Mr Yasin Malik's ambition to become the Hurriyat chairman. There has been a great deal of wrangling in the JKLF over posts and power. But things took an ugly turn after the IKA was formed last week with an aim to opposing human rights violations by J&K militants and to launching a 'people's movement' for unification of the Valley, PoK and Northern areas comprising Gilgit and Baltistan. Some moderate and secular leaders of the 'pro-independence' lobby in exile set up the organisation. It's headed by UK-based Syed Nazir Gilani. Other key members are vice- chairman Mr Mumtaz Khan (Esq in Canada) and secretary-general Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri (based in Switzerland). UK-based Shabir Choudhry is the spokesperson for the organisation. JKLF chief Mr Malik, apparently at the behest of Pakistani agencies, dismissed two key members : Abbas Butt and Choudhry. Butt was the president of the JKLF's UK and Europe zone, while Chowdhury was an executive member of the JKLF's Central Diplomatic Bureau. Butt and Chowdhury claim they enjoy the support of most members of the organisation and have in turn expelled Majid Tramboo, a Yasin loyalist.


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