Hurriyat Faces Pressure From Within To Restructure23 December 2011
The Economic Times
Srinagar: The flock that makes up the moderate Hurriyat of peacenik Mirwaiz Umer Farooq is restive, with a strong demand gaining ground for reorganising the alliance and reviving its mass-contact programme. Mirwaiz was due to restructure the alliance after it was dissolved to give him a free hand in April 2009. 'He was supposed to restructure within 45 days, but that did not happen,' a senior separatist leader told ET on the condition of anonymity. Although a committee was constituted, it never made any recommendation possibly because 'role of some of the front-liners might get diluted,' he said. The undivided Hurriyat had a two-tier system: a general council with 36 basic members and a seven-member executive council as its all-powerful decision-making body. Once the hawkish Syed Ali Geelani forced a vertical split in the alliance, the moderates reconstituted the executive and took new members in. Interestingly, most of the basic members of the undivided Hurriyat split vertically and stayed as members in both the Hurriyats. Numerically, however, moderates are apparently more. Now the issue, insiders say, is multi-pronged. 'The general council deliberations in the recent past have called for doing away with the obsolete twodecade-old, two-tiered structure,' one leader said. Apart from restructuring, a major issue related to the Hurriyat's platform and reach. 'We should have been holding mass contact programmes and moving around but all our activities are restricted to the Jamia Masjid with the Mirwaiz Sahab sometimes moving around,' the leader said. Last week, Mirwaiz visited Sopore where he faced an angry crowd that police blamed on supporters of Geelani. Although leaders like Shabir Shah and Nayeem Khan are busy interacting with people, they say they are doing it at their individual party levels and not as Hurriyat representatives. They refer to JKLF leader Yasin Malik, who is equidistant from the rival factions of the Hurriyat, and is active. Malik was in south Kashmir Tral on Friday where he spoke to a well-attended post-prayer gathering. Officially, the alliance has dismissed any 'rift'. On Thursday, after a marathon meeting of the executive, Mirwaiz told reporters that there are differences of opinion but no 'rift'.