Senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Bhat said on Sunday that separatist leaders Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone, and prominent Kashmiri lawyer Abdul Ahad Wani were victims of an internal rivalry and had not been killed by the Army or the state police.
Bhat was speaking at a seminar organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) to commemorate the death of Wani, shot dead on December 31, 1993.
“If you want to rid the people of Kashmir of sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth. Was Wani sahib a martyr of brilliance or a martyr of rivalry? Neither the Army nor the police killed Mirwaiz, Lone sahib and Wani sahib, but our own people,” the septuagenarian leader said.
Moderate Hurriyat’s chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, People’s Conference chairman Bilal Lone, JKLF chief Yasin Malik and senior lawyer Zafar Shah attended the seminar.
The junior Mirwaiz has claimed that Indian agencies killed his father, Muhammad Farooq, on May 21, 1990.
On Farooq’s death anniversary in 2002, Hurriyat leader Lone, the father of Bilal and Sajjad Lone, was killed by unidentified gunmen in front of the junior Mirwaiz in Srinagar’s Eidgah area. This killing was also blamed on Indian agencies.
Bhat, who was part of the moderate Hurriyat Conference group that held talks with the Central government in 2001, attacked hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for failing to achieve anything through his five-month-long agitation since June 2010 “except inflicting losses”.
“Those who were averse to talks with Delhi when we engaged with them are now meeting parliamentarians and civil society members. Such political contradictions have to end,” Bhat said.
The Mirwaiz, who spoke after Bhat in the seminar, chose not to touch the controversial subject. But he did not describe the 2010 summer unrest as a waste.
“A movement goes through ups and downs. If there are shortcomings and the
leadership is not able to deliver, then the intellectual class should come forward with suggestions rather than mere criticism for the sake of it,” said the Mirwaiz.
Malik, who organised the seminar, criticised hardline voices of Kashmir. “It goes against the (dispute) resolution process when we take aggressive tone and threaten to conquer the world. It suits our rivals,” he said.