Headless Hurriyat A Boon For Militants
10 July 2004
Srinagar: With the stepping down of Mr Maulana Abbas Ansari from the post of Hurriyat Conference Chairman, the possibility of revival of bilateral talks with New Delhi is nearly grounded. Hurriyat has found the escape route by not announcing the replacement for Mr Ansari and keeping the amalgam headless for the time being. Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, who was expected to take over after Mr Ansari, vehemently denied that he was the interim chairman. This strategy would save them from all quarters. New Delhi would not approach the headless forum for talks. Militants would be happy when no 'sell- out' talks are held at the ground. And, Pakistan would be content with Mr Mirwaiz's new assignment of forging unity among the breakaway groups. Harried CM soothes frayed nerves A never-ending tussle between two influential Ministers in the coalition Government is a permanent headache for Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. Consumer Affairs Minister Taj Mohiuddin of the Congress and Finance Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baigh of the PDP are not on talking terms with each other and have the single point agenda of running each other down. During the elections, both accused each other of killing 11 persons in a grenade attack in Uri. When Mr Mohiuddin came up with the idea of banning wazwaan and the excessive use of mutton on marriages, Mr Baigh was first to oppose the proposal. Mr Mohiuddin's latest accusation is that Mr Baigh is reluctant to release funds for the purchase of food grains, 'which would lead to starvation in the days to come'. He has 1threatened to take the matter to Delhi. Mr Baigh, in protest, has stopped going to his secretariat office. The hapless Chief Minister has no choice but to spend a lot of time and energy taming the Ministers' tempers.