Leader and founder of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Front Party (JKDFP), Shabir Ahmed Shah favours independence for the people of the state and holds a secular appeal in the state. He has been for self-determination in the state since his days as leader of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s League in the 1960s. He has also rooted for bringing in non-Kashmiri and non-Muslims of the state to join the struggle in Jammu and Kashmir, thus broad-basing the movement, an idea rejected by APHC.
Shabir Shah has also offered unconditional talks with India. He is also for the intervention of a third power in the talks on Jammu and Kashmir.
With his vast popularity in the region, the Hurriyat is keen on consulting him before talks with the Central leaders.
He has spent much of his life in Indian jails. In the 1990s, he gained international recognition as an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience in 1992. He is also known as Kashmir’s Nelson Mandela because of the long years spent in prison (Close to 20 years). Many claim that he is more popular in the US than in India.