Shabir Shah Vetoes Bhat’s Delhi Move

8 November 2009
Rising Kashmir
Hakeem Irfan

Srinagar: The statement of Hurriyat (M) executive member Prof Abdul Gani Bhat has developed strain in the Mirwaiz faction as another senior executive member, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Sunday said the statement has no mandate of the conglomerate. Prof Bhat, in a seminar in New Delhi, suggested that the Hurriyat and JKLF should jointly work with pro-India political parties NC and PDP and formulate a joint paper for resolution of Kashmir issue. “Hurriyat has not mandated anybody to offer any sort of joint programme until all the mainstream groups declare Kashmir as disputed and the instrument of accession as void,” said Shah, while talking to Rising Kashmir from Islamabad in south Kashmir. The PDP and National Conference, Shah said, believe in accession with India. “Recently, when Mahbooba Mufti explained her party’s self-rule proposal, she clearly said that it was well within the Indian constitution and was not challenging the accession. Also, Omer Abdullah has said that his autonomy proposals are no way a challenge to India’s sovereignty in Kashmir.” Shah said: “These people (NC and PDP) are representing government of India in Jammu and Kashmir and we are representing the sacrifices; how can we ally with them?” However, Shah was quick to add: “But we are still open for a joint effort if they openly declare Kashmir as a disputed territory and challenge India’s legal and constitutional position on Kashmir.” Shah, who is presently on visit to south Kashmir, said 'civil society members here questioned me by showing newspapers as to why there is a lot of confusion in the conglomerate”. He said they believed in the resolution of Kashmir issue through Right to self-determination or tripartite talks. 'Whosoever will talk anything other than this, is just expressing his personal opinion and cannot be the decision or standing of Hurriyat Conference.” Earlier, Hurriyat (M) held a meeting that remained inconclusive and the strategy about the dialogue process could not be formulated. The Hurriyat is again convening a meeting this week, which is expected to be very stormy. “The statement of Prof Bhat will be deliberated upon in the meeting. We are not against anybody but we need to clear confusions. Besides, I did not know that Prof Bhat is going to New Delhi,” Shah said. Chairman Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq, despite repeated attempts, could not be contacted. Senior executive member Fazl Haq Qureshi, however, told Rising Kashmir: “It is a political move. Prof Bhat may have tried to play his card and keep them (NC and PDP) on toes. We also time and again say that if they are sincere, they should come on board with us.” However, provincial president Hurriyat (M) Nayeem Ahmed Khan said: “The 1993 constitution of Hurriyat and agreement of June 2008 with Hurriyat (G) are sacrosanct. No individual can violate all this.” Chairperson Dukhtaran-e-Milat Asiya Andrabi, however, accused that Prof Bhat could not speak without the consultation of Mirwaiz. “He was representing Hurriyat. How can he just express his personal opinions there? In fact his participation in the seminar is questionable. We will not allow anybody to go for sellout; besides, people are intelligent enough to gauge any hypocrisy or treason.” The Mirwaiz, in a press conference in October this year, had expressed the conglomerate’s willingness to go for talks with New Delhi. However, he had said, “Hurriyat (G), JKLF and other resistance leadership will be taken on board before any move.” He lately put forth a six-point formula before New Delhi to create an atmosphere for dialogue. New Delhi, according to the reports, has also started ‘Quiet Diplomacy’. However, Mirwaiz has remained tight-lipped on this as well. The Hurriyat (G), on the other hand, rejected the offer to go for any dialogue but the negotiations with JKLF are going on.