The moderate separatist leaders of Kashmir have openly lashed out against the faction allegedly responsible for the murder of Maulvi Showkat Shah, who, they said, were “imposing their hegemony”.
Last week, at an all-party meeting convened by the Jamiat Ahli Hadees, they had blamed the "black sheep among the separatists" for the murder.
On Friday, at a protest programme held in the Old City’s Jamia Masjid against the murder, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), and Yasin Malik, head of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), said “these elements within the pro-freedom ranks are out to impose their hegemony”.
“Today there are efforts to create confusion within the freedom movement,” Mirwaiz told the gathering after the Friday prayers. Asking if Kashmir is not going the Afghanistan way, he said: “There, some people thought ‘we are the only right thinking people’ and caused devastation… Who are these elements (here) who want to impose their thinking?”
If the pro-freedom political leadership and the religious groups want their security, they need to speak the truth, said Malik.
“Did Showkat work against the freedom movement?” he questioned. “Doesn’t everybody know that after he became Jamiat president, he gave the stage to pro-freedom camp at the main mosque in Lal Chowk?”