We must be guided by reason, not by a blind emotion…
For the last few weeks upcoming Hurriyat visit to Pakistan has turned out to be a matter of disagreement between two factions (moderates and hardliners) of Hurriyat. The disagreement on the issue has turned into extreme hostility. Leaders of two factions are exchanging harsh words to justify their own contentions. Hardliners call other faction as cheap publicity and attention seekers, while on the other hand only few days back one senior leader of moderate faction called his opponents ‘Forces of darkness’ and accused the hardliner Hurriyat leadership of spoiling the resolution efforts. This is Kashmir’s Hurriyat conference after enjoying two decades of unflinching public support and trust! Split both vertically and horizontally and now awaiting political decimation its shape, character, policy, agenda, intentions and future are visible and can be summed up in one word ‘CHAOS’. I know many people within both the factions and common Kashmiri at large will seek an explanation and will ask for reasoning and logic for this much bigger and harsh branding.
Hurriyat conference from the day of its emergence in 1993 as resistance group to pursue the right of self determination according to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution had to face the rough political weather and bumpy tracks full of ego and conceit. To a large extent, for many years it stood to its literary meaning of ‘liberty’ until the year 2002 when some lesser know constituents of Hurriyat left the conglomerate for greener pastures of mainstream politics. The real jolt to Hurriyat came when veteran political figure Syed Ali Shah Gilani parted ways and established his own faction—Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. From then onwards Hurriyat Conference the conglomerate of more than twenty five organizations that was shaped to fight for the justified cause of Kashmiri people became victim of antagonism leading to murky power struggle within the resistance camp. Apparently, Hurriyat split because of political differences between its leaders but in reality ego and narcissism played havoc and a decisive role in its disintegration.
Most of the Hurriyat leaders could never appreciate the prudent political disposition and sacred agenda of Hurriyat Conference in right perspective and treated it like any other political party to promote their own egoistic agenda. Unfortunately, a few saner elements who tried to get Hurriyat back on the track were either sidelined or condemned to oblivion.
The present squabbling between two Hurriyats over impending visit to Pakistan and opening of a dialogue process has exposed both of them. Criticizing each other’s move for the sake of criticism without any rhyme or reason exposed their sincerity towards Kashmiri cause. Undoubtedly, in the context of previous political developments in Kashmir and political behavior of certain mass movement leaders Geelani and his group is within its right to oppose the present political initiative that too in the backdrop of clandestinely growing proximity of India and Pakistan. However, while proposing any such equation of failure and likelihood of deceit he should appreciate the political awareness and wisdom of Kashmiri people. The much hyped stories of Tele Kraie (boiling hot oil) are over now; Kashmiri people are now mature and capable enough to differentiate between perfidy and sincerity. Self-proclaimed moderates in Hurriyat saga instead of ridiculing Geelani and his hard-line policies should convince him of their good intentions (if any) with logic and reasoning in most humble way and Geelani on the other hand should trust other stake holders with highest degree of respect and value for their opinion and approach to accomplish their agenda without even an iota of distrust and suspicion. If two factions of Hurriyat Conference who claim to be the saviors of Kashmiri people are unable to arrive at a petty agreement on initiation of dialogue for resolution of vexed Kashmir issue then they have no right to make tall claims for Kashmiri leadership and their empowerment.