An unlikely entity has chosen to downsize its operations and staff strength — the All Party Hurriyat Conference.
This alliance of over two dozen groups, led by Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, which espouses self-determination for the people of the state, with many groups insisting on complete separation from the Indian union, has wound up all its district and zonal units in the past few days. A number of office workers at the Srinagar headquarters too have been told their services are no longer required.
Sources close to the Hurriyat said the overwhelming participation of the Kashmir valley in the assembly elections held in November-December — ignoring the alliance’s appeals to boycott polls till the issue of freedom had been resolved — had come as a huge blow. “We were spending a lot of money without any corresponding increase in our influence,” said another leader. “It is time for rethinking and reorganisation.”
The district offices, set up last year to reach out to people across the state, were the brainchild of Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmed Shah.