Moderate Kashmiri separatist alliance faces crisis

16:22, November 24, 2009      

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Bogged down by the stiff opposition and defiant statements from the members over dialogue process with New Delhi, moderate separatist alliance of Hurriyat Conference in India-controlled Kashmir Monday suspended the organizational set-up and its official positions except that of its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a Hurriyat leader Tuesday said Tuesday.

The decision was reached out following the executive meeting of the Hurriyat Conference chaired by Mirwaiz at its Rajbagh headquarters in Srinagar, the summer capital of India-controlled Kashmir.

"We have suspended all the administrative set-up to streamline things. It is a part of Hurriyat restructuring and a usual organizational process. The individual statements of the members created confusion amongst the masses. Hurriyat cannot tolerate any indiscipline and all the members have been asked not to issue any personal statements," Mirwaiz told media.

Suspension of official positions has wrested all the decision making powers to Mirwaiz.

The decision is likely to jeopardize the ongoing quiet-dialogue with New Delhi, for agenda setting for dialogue process has taken backseat. The conglomerate will be meeting after the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Azha, which is scheduled on Nov. 28, to deciding future course of action.

Insiders in the Hurriyat say the decision was taken to prevent split in the organization in wake of the divergent views on entering into a dialogue process with New Delhi.

Last week a newspaper report said moderates led by Mirwaiz met Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi for the second time.

Though Mirwaiz rejected the report but admitted that talks with New Delhi have started to find a solution to the ongoing conflict in India-controlled Kashmir.

"Whether you call it back channel talks or track II diplomacy, to some extent a process has started. We have conveyed them that situation on ground should change prior to any such dialogue process," Mirwaiz said in an interview.

Moderate faction had started approaching separatist groups in the region to enter into a dialogue process with New Delhi. However, the group failed to convince the region's hardliner SyedAli Shah Geelani.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), a conglomerate of 23 political parties in Indian-controlled Kashmir was founded in 1993to launch sustained efforts on political front to end New Delhi'srule in the region.

The group split into two factions in 2003 after hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani castigated Sajjad Lone, the son of slain Hurriyat leader of fielding proxy candidates in 2002 local elections and thereby accusing him of violating the constitution of Hurriyat.

Geelani sought expulsion of junior Lone from the organization. However, the moderates remained indecisive and Geelani floated a parallel Hurriyat.

Moderate faction in the past held several rounds of talks with New Delhi during the tenure of governments headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.

In 2004, the group backed off from the dialogue process after couple of rounds accusing New Delhi of resorting to non-seriousness and delaying technique.

Source: Xinhua
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