Kashmiri Hurriyat in soul-searching mode, hunting for new direction

21 February 2009

Srinagar: The Hurriyat Conference has called for a crucial two-day session next week to undertake integrated planning to give a new direction to the Kashmir movement. The moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference begins a crucial two-day session next week to discuss the situation arising out of the July uprising and the assembly elections, with the executive council holding deliberations on the first day, and giving the floor to the general council the next. The session assumes added significance as it is the first such exercise since the shrine board row which led to the popular uprising, and aims to identify the short comings of the pro-freedom leadership and the factors that led to a high turnout in the assembly elections. Indo-Pak relations too will figure in the deliberations that will also focus on framing the strategy to adopt with respect to the forthcoming general elections. The Hurriyat also wants to chalk out an integrated plan to give a new direction to the Kashmir movement under which the leadership maintains complete contact with the masses and highlights the Kashmir issue at the international level. The executive council will also discuss the proposals the general council had been asked to come up with a fortnight ago to strengthen the alliance. The session will also frame a mechanism to re-activate APHC offices outside the state and abroad in a phased manner to give its diplomatic initiatives a keen cutting edge. Senior leader and executive member, Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat, who has just returned after spending nearly three months in Pakistan, will brief his colleagues on his tour. Prof Ghani had left for Pakistan around the time the assembly elections got underway here, and on his return today, he was accompanied from Delhi by another executive member, Bilal Ghani Lone. Sources said that the Hurriyat was keen to make a fresh beginning, as many leaders feel that contact with the masses had weakened after the assembly elections.