HURRIYAT UNITY ON HORIZON
• Agree on self-determination as bottom-line
• 6-member committee to formalize reunion
Srinagar, June 19: The two factions of Kashmir’s main pro-freedom conglomerate, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, today created a history of sorts when
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq met with Syed Ali Shah Geelani at the latter’s Hyderpora residence after about five years of their
estrangement. The marathon 6-hour meeting culminated on a significant note with both the leaders jointly briefing the media
and announcing the formation of a committee to hammer out the modalities for unification of the two factions, which had parted
ways in 2003.
While retaining their separate identities “for the time being,” the leaders of the two factions signed
a joint document spelling out their firm resolve to evolve a joint mechanism to further strengthen the struggle for achieving
the right of self-determination and to work out the modalities for total unification.
“India and its stooges are killing Kashmiris and occupying their land.
The Hurriyat has decided to have a joint strategy to tackle it, as it is the question of our future. We have to expose New Delhi’s nefarious designs. We discussed India’s cultural aggression on Kashmir. I’m happy that our efforts are going in the right direction,” the Mirwaiz told the media persons.
It may be recalled the Hurriyat Conference had split in September 2003 following the differences over the “participation”
in the 2002 assembly elections.
21,2004 in a crowded Public gathering
at martyrs graveyard in Iddgah, Srinagar then Hurriyat chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari had announced that
he was resigning his post in an effort to bring about the reunification of the coalition's factions. The founder-chairman
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was asked to work towards restoring the Hurriyat's original executive council and send invitations to
all the pre-split executive council members.
Since then, repeated efforts by various concerned organizations, including the High Court Bar Association and the
Unity Force, to bring about unity between the two factions, did not come to fruition. This had dismayed the people.
Earlier on May 21, this year Hurriyat Conference leadership had appealed Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik and Sajad
Gani Lone from the martyrs’ graveyard to join hands with them for ‘a greater cause’ and said that “When
our aim and goal is one, then why should we remain divided? We will march together”. Later Hurriyet conference had constituted
a three member committee under Shabir A Shah to look into the matter.
Interestingly, what even the Pakistan
government could not do for five years, the J&K government and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) have achieved in
just a few days. The controversial land allotment has become a rallying point. The controversial transfer of 800 kanal forest
land in the eco-fragile Sindh forest area to the SASB set the stage for the unity between the estranged factions of the pro-freedom
The atmosphere today was totally different and congenial with both the leaders discussing a wide range of issues
confronting Jammu and Kashmir and its people.
On unification between the two factions, a 6-member committee had been formed to discuss the modalities for complete
unity. Each side will have three members. They decided to evolve a joint mechanism for attaining the right to self-determination
through plebiscite or, alternatively, through tripartite talks, adding any differences between the two factions would be sorted
It was decided that the 6-member committee would also go through the 1993 constitution of APHC and implement it with
amendments, if necessary.
“We have reached the conclusion that we will unite and we also appeal the nation to unite and fight jointly
for right to self determination. If we won’t unite, it will only benefit the enemy,” said the joint Statement.