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Why do we tolerate the Hurriyat?

By Arvind Lavakare
May 24, 2006 18:23 IST
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The Hurriyat has once again insulted our nation's prime minister.

By refusing to attend the second round table conference convened by the PM to discuss possible solutions to the eternal 'Kashmir problem', that motley crew of self-styled Kashmir 'leaders' has unleashed a slap which only a PM of teflon can bear without hurt and anger.

The time has come to finally erase the Hurriyat from any self-respecting Indian leader's 'To Meet' list.

See their contempt for our PM. They will not meet him along with other political leaders from J&K state, although only recently at an NGO conclave in Islamabad they had happily conferred with Pakistan's president along with other political outfits on that side.

See their disdain for the leaders of the political coalition in power currently in Srinagar, for Sheikh Abdullah's party and for the other parties who represent the assorted wishes of the J&K people. The Hurriyat chose to describe them all as 'a crowd of political hypocrites.'

Thank god the Hurriyat blinkers are off

These qualities of contempt and disdain reflect not only the Hurriyat's arrogance and utter disregard for democratic norms of debate but also the weakness of their own case. They want to meet our PM separately and exclusively, and air their seditious views to him, but are not prepared to do the same in front of those who have individually or severally run the J&K state all these years from 1947-end.

Clearly, the Hurriyat is aware that, unlike in Islamabad, what they say here in front of other political leaders will be shouted down. And these chaps are the ones who want the world to believe that they are the true representatives of the Kashmiri people -- 'representatives' without the guts to contest democratic elections for the state assembly. Shameless cowards.

The Hurriyat's dilemma

I for one have never understood why New Delhi should at all talk to the Hurriyat when it is known to those who know that:

  • Three of its leaders had been arrested under the J&K Public Safety Act for their anti-election campaigning during the Lok Sabha election of October 1999, and allegedly charged by the CBI for receiving Rs 800 million in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976.
  • The Hurriyat's heart and soul are either self-centred or yearning to be with Pakistan, or both.
  • Nothing that the Hurriyat has done all these years has indicated even conditional support for the position on J&K adopted by India, for all that India has done for that state, pampering it like a child, meeting its needs by neglecting the other siblings, never mind if the pampered child hasn't learned to say the kindergarten courtesy of saying Thank you in return.
  • The Hurriyat has never moved an inch to alleviate the plight of over 300,000 Kashmir Pandits hounded out of the valley by fanatic Islamists.
  • The Hurriyat has never led a march to the Pakistan embassy in protest against that country's proven terror attacks in J&K.
  • The Hurriyat never spares a chance to have high tea on the sly with Pakistan's president.

Has the Hurriyat missed the bus?

In fact, in my article posted on rediff six years ago, I had pointed out that it was hara-kiri for Home Minister L K Advani to have decided to engage the Hurriyat in talks.

The situation after that shameful second slap on our PM's face-- the outfit had earlier sought, and got, a separate meeting with Dr Singh in February -- is that the whole domestic dialogue on the Kashmir issue appears to be at a deadend, if not on the death bed.

Reacting to the Hurriyat's latest act of contempt, disdain and arrogance, the National Conference of the Abdullah dynasty has publicly stated that if New Delhi agrees to meet the Hurriyat separately yet again, it will simply not accept this discrimination and duality of dialogue rules.

Why is India talking to Hurriyat now?

If New Delhi has any sagacity -- and self-respect -- it will quickly wipe off the ugly, vain-glorious, egotistical Hurriyat from its Kashmir radar.

Instead, it should latch on to the points made the other day by leaders of Pakistan occupied Kashmir as well as of Gilgit and Baltistan that lie to the north of the erstwhile J&K.

PoK students want seats in IIM/IITs!

Meeting at the two-day conference in New Delhi conducted by Institute of Conflict Management, these leaders pointed out that:

  • PoK's president and prime minister cannot even recruit even a peon without routing that proposal through Islamabad.
  • A lot has changed in the mindset of the people in PoK and if the choice for them was between Pakistan or India, the majority would prefer to join India.
  • New Delhi had failed in its duty to raise the miseries of the people of Gilgit and Baltistan in various international fora.
  • In what our PM calls 'enlightened national interest,' will the sleeping Indian tiger now wake up and maul Pakistan and its puppy called the Hurriyat? Will it, please?

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Arvind Lavakare