The cracks in the Hurriyat Conference seem to have deepened with suspended leader Moulvi Abbas Ansari declaring on Thursday that the decision by Hurriyat chaiman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq spelt “azadi” for him.
Meanwhile, rift within the separatist conglomerate widened when the Mirwaiz refuted Ansari’s earlier claim that New Delhi-appointed mediators — Dilip Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and MM Ansari — “just landed at my door”. He also accused the interlocutors of “adding confusion and working under extreme sense of desperation”.
Ansari, who met the interlocutors despite Hurriyat taking a joint decision not to meet them, told HT, “I am not angry with them, it’s actually azadi (freedom) for me to carry forward my quest and mission for peace. I have always believed that guns and bombs are no solution for any problem. The solution always lies in dialogue.”
The decision has not only highlighted the cracks in the moderate camp, but also divided the Hurriyat on sectarian lines. While the Mirwaiz is a Sunni leader, Ansari, who is also a former chairman of the Hurriyat, is a Shia cleric. Ansari’s move has also seen supporters come out on the streets in some Shia-dominated areas.
Ansari’s Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen is an executive council member of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella body headed by the Mirwaiz.
While claiming he “only spelled” the preconditions for the talks in his meeting with the interlocutors, Ansari said, “I told the group that the dialogue has to be meaningful and acceptable to all parties — India, Pakistan and Kashmiris, and that the security forces should be in camps and not out on the roads as occupation forces.”
He, however, did not stress on the “four-point pre-conditions” as given by the Mirwaiz. They include releasing political prisoners, revoking laws such as the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, taking the army off populated areas and ending alleged human rights abuses.