IuM Takes Mirwaiz Head On Over Suspension27 April 2011
Srinagar: Hurling a slew of charges against Mirwaiz Umer Farooq for serious constitutional improprieties in the past, suspended Hurriyat (M) constituent, the Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (IuM), on Wednesday formally challenged the alliance chairman’s “discretionary powers” to take action against the party and its patron for receiving New Delhi’s interlocutors on Kashmir. In reply to a show cause notice issued against it by the alliance, the IuM sought to turn the tables on the Mirwaiz, citing his overturning the Hurriyat (M)’s original policy on 2009 general elections, meeting the all-party parliamentary delegation from New Delhi during the unrest last summer, and his secret talks with the union home minister as instances of his numerous arbitrary decisions which, according to the party, had gone without censure. It said that the decision to suspend Maulana Abbas was “devoid of munificence and mutual respect” as, according to it, the name of the IuM patron had been played up in an unfavourable light by “irresponsible” statements from the Mirwaiz. Maintaining that the interlocutors had dropped in at the residence of Maulana Abbas totally unannounced, and that the latter’s hospitality in keeping with Islamic mores in no way violated the Hurriyat policy on the issue, the party rejected its suspension by the Mirwaiz as “unconstitutional, peremptory and one-sided,” saying that the decision had been taken without giving it a chance to clarify its position. “Your decision is unconstitutional, as according to section 2 of the Hurriyat constitution the authority on such measures is vested solely in the majlis-e-shura,” the IuM chief Maulana Masroor Ansari wrote to the Mirwaiz in his 6-page response today, asserting that his party’s suspension had been the Hurriyat (M) chairman’s personal move and not of the alliance. “It is altogether a different matter that three days after the IuM’s suspension, the Hurriyat majlis-e-shura decided that the chairman had discretionary powers in such matters. Legal experts deem the decision as a total violation of the 1993 charter of the Hurriyat Conference,” he said. “The unseemly haste with which you have suspended the IuM is surprising and without precedent in forum politics, particularly in a diverse formation like the Hurriyat Conference,” he said. “Constitutional violations by alliance constituents have never been decided with such haste, but action has been taken only after discussing them in the majlis-e-shura,” he said. “And there are several instances pertaining to you personally or to your party which have never been raised,” he said. “In a majority decision on the 2009 parliamentary elections, the Hurriyat executive had declared the polls as a non-issue, and the acting chairman had made the announcement in a press conference on April 15. But only a few days later, this unanimous policy was altered and a new announcement made. Had any formal session of the Hurriyat Conference been convened to overturn the previous joint decision?” Maulana Masroor asked. “And today, when panchayat elections are being held in the state, why has the Hurriyat Conference tacitly upheld the same decision and not bothered to utter a single word? Why this criminal silence?” he said. “During last year’s uprising, when the Hurriyat had unanimously decided not to meet the all-party parliamentary delegation from New Delhi, why did you receive them when they called on you at your residence?” he said. “Did you not have prior notice of the visit? The black arm bands that you wore (at the meeting) to protest against the killing of Kashmiri civilians and other circumstances indicate that you had,” he said. “Again, when the Indian home minister announced quiet diplomacy in Kashmir, the Hurriyat Conference decided unanimously not to become a party. And yet you trampled your own principles by holding secret talks with the home minister in New Delhi, for which our veteran pro-freedom leader, Fazl-ul-Haq Qureshi, had to pay a heavy price with an attack on his life,” he said. “Only a few days ago, one of New Delhi’s interlocutors had disclosed that they were in contact with separatists, and that a representative delegation from your party had met the team during its Rajouri visit. Why did you not take any action in this case?” he said. “The manner in which you have dragged the name of Maulana Abbas is an attempt to impair the public image of the leader and the party which have been fighting for the Kashmir cause since 1960,” he said. “Maulana Abbas, who had worked alongside Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah during the Plebiscite Front days but parted ways even with him when he reneged on his stand, needs no introduction,” he said. “He has also been shoulder-to-shoulder with Sofi Muhammad Akbar and your own revered father, the martyred Maulana Muhammad Farooq, after the Mo-e-Muqaddas episode,” he said. “The Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen has been active for the resolution of the Kashmir issue since 1960, and has a brilliant and unimpeachable record. Its leaders and activists have undergone untold suffering and tragedy,” he said. “While its top leadership and functionaries have repeatedly become the target of circumstances, Maulana Abbas himself has spent nearly 10 years in jail for demanding the right of self-determination for Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. “His position in the Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen is much greater than a constitutional authority, and you are fully aware of it,” he said.