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Government, Hurriyat and Hafiz!
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
After Hurriyat leader Mr. Yasin Malik publicly participated with Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan to mourn the death of Afzal Guru there was serious protest among sections of media and politics. One wonders why? Were not Mr. Malik’s connections with Pakistan long suspected? What was covert is now open. That is something to be welcomed. What needs to be considered is why silent cooperation was discarded and public collusion displayed. There is speculation that Afzal Guru’s hanging could lead to renewed militancy in Kashmir. The challenge could be much more formidable.
In Pakistan it is being whispered that Hafiz Saeed is getting ready to plunge into electoral politics before the next general election due shortly. If that is so, could that indicate a similar decision by the Hurriyat leaders?
Until now the Hurriyat leaders have had the best of both worlds. They have never tested their real popularity in elections. They have not faced the hazards of active terrorism. Their commands to the public are enforced through the terror that can be unleashed by others. They speak for those who wield the gun without undergoing danger themselves. They have acquired palatial properties through unknown sources. They exert influence disproportionate to their strength. So whose interests do they really serve? That is what might become painfully clear in the days to come.
It is Omar Abdullah’s party that will face the music. Already anxious voices from within it are being heard. National Conference leader Mr. Mustafa Kamal, additional secretary of National Conference and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s uncle, said that the Hurriyat leaders who are patronized and pampered by the Indian government are now revealed to be in equally close touch with Pakistan backed anti-Indian terrorist elements. On a TV channel Mr. Kamal described Mr. Yasin Malik as a “double agent”. Earlier Mr. Kamal had alleged that Hurriyat separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was on the payroll of the Indian government.
“Saeed had links with Mumbai attacks. Now New Delhi’s conscience should be stirred and people should see what the country is doing. Why do you treat separatists like VIPs within the country and facilitate their travel to different countries. You allow them to go to Pakistan and create problems for pro-India parties principally the National Conference. Why this duplicity?”
Mr. Kamal accused New Delhi of grooming separatists to take over the government of J&K. There are others who echo the views of Mr. Kamal. But they all evade confronting the whole truth. If their suspicions are valid, are Hurriyat leaders the only double agents?
It is welcome that Mr. Yasin Malik has made public what had been until now covert. What is required is honest recognition by critics that the interaction with anti-Indian elements in Pakistan does not stop at the level of the Hurriyat separatists. It could go much higher. And unless the truth, the whole truth, is not acknowledged, the real problem will never be addressed. Will critics dare accuse cabinet ministers of acting as double agents? Of course they will not. Then why accuse only Mr. Yasin Malik and Hurriyat separatist leaders?
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