Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat, who represents moderate Hurriyat’s constituent group Muslim Conference, did a U-turn on Wednesday on his earlier statement on irrelevance of United Nations’ resolutions on Kashmir and advocacy for a joint strategy with the mainstream political parties.
“I am bound by the Hurriyat constitution and its collective decisions. The UN’s resolutions provide the basis for the Kashmir dispute being an international problem. However, it’s unfortunate that these resolutions were not implemented till date,” said Bhat on Wednesday.
Bhat was served a showcause notice by the Hurriyat chairman for his statement. The Hurriyat held its executive council meeting in Srinagar office and was chaired by Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
The Mirwaiz is facing a vertical split in the conglomerate, which has around one dozen members, in the wake of the statement made by Bhat in Sopore in the first week of May this year.
Bhat took separatist camp by surprise in May when he suggested that the UN resolutions “have grown inapplicable” and advocated “a joint strategy with mainstream political parties like National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party to resolve the Kashmir dispute.”
However, on Wednesday, Bhat said his speech was wrongly reported by the media. “The words like ‘irrelevant’, ‘inapplicable’ and ‘non-entity’ (used for the UN resolutions) were not part of my speech,” said Bhat.
Referring to his earlier statement on striking a strategy with mainstream political parties, Bhat withdrew his remarks saying “if the mainstream political parties are serious about Kashmir problem and respect people’s sentiment then they have to shun Indian constitution, electoral and power politics to prove their sincerity.”
Bhat’s May statement had the Mirwaiz in a tight spot with senior separatist leaders like Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan and Azam Inquilabi seeking action against Bhat.
The Hurriyat was literally divided into two camps and came to blows in a meeting held last month. Inquilabi has threatened to split from the Mirwaiz Hurriyat if no action was taken. Both Shah and Khan are up in arms against the silence of the Mirwaiz over the issue.
“Those who raised their objection were not invited in the Wednesday’s meeting. We will first see the contents and issue a statement accordingly,” said dissent Khan.
Khan and Shah were placed under preventive house arrest on Wednesday by the police. “We condemn the unwarranted detention of Shah,” said the statement issued by the Hurriyat chairman.
The Mirwaiz has called for a joint session of the executive council and the general council on June 19 for future course of action."I ask all executive members to abide by the constitution and protect the conglomerate. All should avoid violation the collective decisions and Hurriyat constitution. Our grouping represents sentiment of people of Kashmir and nobody will be allowed to fracture. All are requested to behave with responsibility," said the Mirwaiz after the meeting.
The Hurriyat is a separatists conglomerate formed in 1993.