Mirwaiz says his faction is ‘real’ Hurriyat
16 August 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar: In another jolt to the unification of the Hurriyat Conference, amalgam chairman Mirwaiz Omar Farooq has claimed that the faction represented by him is the 'real Hurriyat'. Hurriyat spokesman Ghulam Hassan Majrooh in a letter to Valley-based mediapersons said the amalgam, headed by the Mirwaiz, enjoys the support of majority separatist organisations. He urged the mediapersons to stop addressing the amalgam as Hurriyat (Abbas) and write only the Hurriyat Conference. However, chairman of the breakway Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani had recently said the amalgam headed by him represented the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. 'The day is not far away when we will shift to the Hurriyat headquarters at Rajbagh,' Mr Geelani told his supporters . The Mirwaiz’s move came after the Itehadi Force said it had failed to reunite both the factions of the Hurriyat, alleging that 'nobody was sincere about reunification'. The Itehadi Force, formed by a number of senior separatist leaders, including Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Mohammad Yaseen Malik, Sheikh Abdul Aziz of the Peoples League, Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah and the Kashmir Bar Association made a number of unsuccessful attempts to forge unity among the warring factions. However, Itehadi Force was disbanded early this month. The Hurriyat split after Mr Geelani, who represented the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) in the Amalgam’s executive council, demanded action against another constitutent the Peoples Conference for allegedly fielding proxy candidates in the 2002 Assembly election. However, the Peoples Conference denied the allegations and counter alleged that Mr Geelani was responsible for the assassination of party founder chairman Abdul Gani Lone. The situation aggravated further when Moulana Abbas Ansari gave a clean chit to the People Conference immediately after he took over as the chairman of conglomerate. However, the JKLF, PL and JeI distanced themselves from both the factions. Later, Moulana Ansari stepped down and nominated the Mirwaiz as the acting chairman. Though the Mirwaiz turned down the offer, he accepted it last week on request from the amalgam’s executive council. Mr Geelani formed his own Hurriyat and got the support of his parent party —the JeI— which joined him after allowing him to float a new political outfit under the banner of 'Tehreek-e-Hurriyat'. Mr Geelani is also opposing the dialogue with the Centre without the involvement of Pakistan while the other faction has held two round of talks with then Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani. The third round of talks with the new UPA Government at the Centre have been delayed. The Hurriyat had raised objection about the Home Minister’s comment that the dialogue will be held within the framework of the Indian Constitution. The Mirwaiz has already rejected conditional talks while Mr Geelani said the Kashmir issue could be resolved only through tripartite talks or by implementing the United Nations resolutions.