All Parties Hurriyat Conference

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Tehreek e Hurriyat
Leader Ghulam Mohammad Safi
Founder Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
Founded March 09, 1993
Ideology Kashmiri separatism
International affiliation None
Colors Green
Website
website
Politics of India
Political parties
Elections

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is an alliance of 26 political, social and religious organizations was formed on March 9, 1993 as a political front to raise the cause of Kashmiri separatism. This alliance has historically been viewed positively by Pakistan as it contests the claim of the Indian government over the State of Jammu and Kashmir.[1][2][3]
Ghulam Muhammad Safi was elected as its convener in January 2010.[4]

History[edit]

The origins of the Hurriyat are traced to the 1993 phase of the Kashmir insurgency. The initial euphoria of armed struggle against Indian security forces, which surrounded terrorist violence during the late 1980s and early 1990s had subsided in the face of counter-insurgency operations launched by Indian security forces. The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) with its "pro-independence" ideology had been marginalised as a terrorist outfit and replaced by a network of extremist Islamic outfits sponsored and controlled by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).[5]

Parallel to this, Pakistan was aggressively pursing an agenda of attempting to portray its proxy war against India as an indigenous uprising against Indian sovereignty and internationalise the issue. It was in this context that the Hurriyat was formed as an umbrella body for all over-ground secessionist organisations. Since the international community frowned upon the resort to violence by non-state actors, the Hurriyat was an ideal platform to promote the Kashmiri secessionist cause.[5]

Another version claims that the Hurriyat is a creation of the US interests in Kashmir and was formed through the efforts of a Washington based think-tank US Institute of Peace (USIP ) under the then presidentship of Robert Oakley, a former US ambassador to Pakistan. Certain developments do indicate that it has had active backing from US official sources, particularly the US embassy in India (when prominent Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Lone was injured during a security force action in the early 1990s, he was reportedly rushed to New Delhi and visited each day by officials from the US embassy).[5][6][7]
When Robert Oakley, the retired US Ambassador in Pakistan, took over as the head of the US Institute of Peace (USIP), Kashmir issue became a project of this institute. The USIP, an instrument of the US foreign policy, came into existence by an Act of the US Congress, which also undertook its funding without being answerable to the US President. It cooperates too closely with the US Administration, and being known for fondling with controversial problems, its methodology has been given the name of 'Track II diplomacy receiving tactical support of the US Government'.[5][6][7][8]

Ideology and Role[edit]

According to the Hurriyat Conference, Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and ‘India's control’ on it is not justified. It supports the Pakistani claim that Kashmir is the ‘unfinished agenda of Partition’ and needs to be solved ‘as per the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.’[9]

The APHC perceives itself to be the sole representative of the Kashmiri people, a claim that has so far been endorsed explicitly only by Pakistan.[9]

The outfit's primary role has been to project a negative image of counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and to mobilise public opinion against the Indian security forces. The alliance has consistently followed up local allegations of security force excesses, and in several documented cases, allegedly distorted facts to suit its propaganda. For instance, the Haigam firing incident of February 16, 2001 was portrayed as an assault on a peaceful gathering whereas, as later indicated in news reports and official clarifications, the army contingent fired upon the mob only when they were blocked and prevented from moving.[9]

The APHC enjoys an observer's status in the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). Incidentally, the OIC had dropped hard-line Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, from its guest list and instead invited Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for its June 2005 Foreign Ministers Conference in Yemen.[9][10]

Split[edit]

There are currently two factions of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz (a hereditary title of one of Kashmir's important religious seats, and also head priest of the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar) Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The Mirwaiz-led group, also referred to as the ‘moderate faction’ along with non-Hurriyat leaders like Yasin Malik undertook, between June 2–16, 2005, the first formal visit of Kashmiri separatists to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and subsequently, though unsanctioned by Indian authorities, to Pakistan.[9]

Internal fissures within the Hurriyat Conference had culminated in a formal split on September 7, 2003, with at least 12 of its 26 constituents 'removing' the then Chairman Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari 'replacing' him with Masarat Alam as its interim chief. The dissenters reportedly met at the residence of hardliner and pro-Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and decided to depose Ansari and 'suspend' the seven-member executive committee, the highest decision-making forum of the APHC. A five-member committee was formed to review the Hurriyat Constitution and suggest amendments to reverse what the dissenters perceive as 'autocratic' decisions taken by the executive committee.[9]

Since then, Geelani has formed his own faction of the Hurriyat called the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir. On October 12, 2004 he was unanimously elected as its Chairman for a period of three years. A 25-member strong Majlis-e-Shoora (advisory council) to assist and advise the Chairman was also announced on the same day. A statement released by the faction said 21 members were elected to the 'shoora' and the Chairman was authorised to nominate four members. It also said all the 14 districts of the State were duly represented in the 'shoora,' the highest decision-making body of the outfit. The Geelani reportedly has 16 constituents.[9]

Hurriyat Conference again got split in 2014, moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq faced spilt after four senior leaders raised a banner of revolt against the chairman and other members of the conglomerate.[11] Democratic Freedom Party president Shabir Ahmad Shah, National Front chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mahaz-e-Azadi chief Mohammad Azam Inqlabi and Islamic Political Party Mohommad Yousuf Naqash were up in arms against Mirwaiz after he dashed a letter to convener in Pakistan occupied Kashmir Mohommad Yousuf Naseem asking him not to entertain the leaders who have left the conglomerate on their own.[11]

Views on right to self-determination[edit]

All JKLF factions support the Right to Self-determination as per UN Security Council Resolution 47. Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan & Azam Inquilabi demand Right to Self-determination as per UN Security Council Resolution 47.
Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is unclear on the Right to Self-determination with Abdul Ghani Bhat repeatedly stating that the UN resolution for Right to self-determination is dead.
Members of the Executive Council of the original APHC were:

Problems Before Plebiscite[edit]

UN Resolution is not Compulsory[edit]

  • In March 2001, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations,Kofi Annan during his visit to India and Pakistan,remarked that Kashmir resolutions are only advisory recommendations and comparing with those on East Timor and Iraq was like comparing apples and oranges, since those resolutions were passed under chapter VII, which make it enforceable by UNSC.[16][17][18][19][20][21] In 2003,then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced that Pakistan was willing to back off from demand for UN resolutions for Kashmir.[22][23][24]
  • Moreover, India alleges that Pakistan failed to fulfill the pre-conditions by withdrawing its troops from the Kashmir region as was required under the same U.N. resolution of 13 August 1948 which discussed the plebiscite.[25][26][27]
  • Jammu and Kashmir is out of UN dispute list: In Nov 2010 the United Nations has removed Jammu and Kashmir from its list of disputed territories.[28][29][30][31]
  • It was major setback to Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, the United Nations has excluded Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) from its list of unresolved international disputes under the observation of the UN Security Council (UNSC). Pakistan's acting envoy in the UN, Amjad Hussain Sial, has lodged a strong protest, while Indian authorities welcomed the decision.[28][29][31]
  • In 2010, United States Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer said that Kashmir is an 'internal' issue of India and not to be discussed on international level rather it should be solved by bilateral talks between India and Pakistan.[32][33][34][35] He said, "The (US) President ( Barack Obama), I think was very articulate on this issue of Kashmir. This is an internal issue for India."[32][33]
  • Separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that, "First of all when they say Kashmir is an internal issue, it is against the reality. The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is an international issue and it should be solved. As long as promises made to us are not fulfilled, this issue will remain unsolved."[36][37]

Instrument of Accession[edit]

Article 370[edit]

"Nehru's Promise"[edit]

In telegram No.413 dated 28 October 1947 addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nehru wrote,[47]

“That Government of India and Pakistan should make a joint request to U.N.O. to undertake a plebiscite in Kashmir at the earliest possible date.”

Nehru's statement in the Indian Parliament, 26 June 1952,[47]

“I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir; it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but every where.

“I started with the presumption that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign.”

In his statement in the Lok Sabha on 31 March 1955 as published in Hindustan Times New Delhi on Ist April, 1955, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir is perhaps the most difficult of all these problems between India and Pakistan. We should also remember that Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied between India and Pakistan but it has a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir.”[48] There was also a White Paper on Kashmir published by Indian government regarding plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir in 1948.

  • There are many such instances where Nehru made such remarks regarding plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.[48] Pakistan and separatist Hurriyat leaders repeatedly demand that Indian Government should fulfill "Nehru's Promise".[47][49]
  • Position of the Indian authorities on "Nehru's Promise": the Indian government takes the position that Nehru himself backed off from his promise in the late 1950s. Although he was Prime Minister for 17 years, he made no serious attempt for a plebiscite. His promises have been taken as a 'good political move'.[50]
  • Indian authorities say that Nehru's telegrams and speeches have no legal importance, nor it is compulsory to apply them as they were never passed by the Parliament of India. The white paper on Kashmir also does not have any legal importance as it was published in 1948 while the Constitution of India came into force into 1950 and defined Kashmir as an integral part of India as well as protecting the 'unity and integrity' of India. Constitution of India doesn't has any provision for plebiscite and 1948 white paper was against Constitution of India so it was automatically got abolished.
  • Indian authorities also says that, Nehru is not current Prime Minister of India, because policies are made on the basis of views of current Prime Minister and his cabinet which must get nod by both houses of Parliament of India.[51]
  • Any Prime Minister of India can't make decision of plebiscite unilaterally, bill of plebiscite must be passed in both houses of Parliament of India with massive 2/3rd majority then it requires assent by President of India, and if that decision is against Basic structure of Indian Constitution then Supreme Court of India can outlaw or abolish that decision.[51][52] Preamble and article 3 of part 2 of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir says 'Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India'. This constitution has been adopted by elected Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in 1956 when Nehru was Prime Minister of India.[53]
  • Daughter of Nehru, Indira Gandhi and his grandson Rajiv Gandhi were Prime Ministers of India but they themself never did any attempt to implement their forefather's 'Promise'. Instead Indira Gandhi done 1974 Indira–Sheikh accord with Shaikh Abdullah which vanished all possibilities of plebiscite.[54]

Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir[edit]

"WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR,
having solemnly resolved, in pursuance of the accession of this State to India which took place on the twenty sixth day of October, 1947, to further define the existing relationship of the State with the Union of India as an integral part thereof, and to secure to ourselves-

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among us all;

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this seventeenth day of November, 1956, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION."

-Preamble of Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir.[53]
  • Ram Jethmalani, prominent lawyer, former union minister and chairman of Kashmir Committee said in Nov 2014 that, “The constitution of this state(J & K) was not formulated by the constituent assembly of India, but by its constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. That was a plebiscite. It is the constituent assembly of J&K which incorporated some provisions of the Indian Constitution. The plebiscite has therefore taken place. You(Kashmiris) are not living under the constitution of India but under the constitution which was framed by the constituent assembly(of Jammu and Kashmir) which has willingly accepted a part of the Indian constitution.”[55]
  • Indian authorities also claims that people of Kashmir have voted in large percentage in recent elections in favour of this constitution and each elected legislative assembly of J & K has accepted this constitution.[56]

Private Survey[edit]

  • London based leading think tank Royal Institute of International Affairs also known as Chatham House, conducted a survey both in Pakistan administered Kashmir and Indian administered Kashimir and released it in its report Kashmir:Paths to Peace on May 2010.[57][58][59]
  • Its author claims is the first ever of its kind, shows that only 2% of the respondents on the Indian side favour joining Pakistan and most such views were confined to Srinagar and Budgam districts. In six of the districts surveyed late last year by researchers, not a single person favoured annexation with Pakistan, a notion that remains the bedrock for the hardline separatist campaign in Kashmir.[59][60]
  • Survey conducted by British academic Robert Bradnock, the independent survey found that even 44 percent of people in Pakistan administered Kashmir favour independence. On Indian side of Kashmir, 55% people want to stay with India, 43% want to be independent while 2% people want to join Pakistan.[60]
  • This 2010 survey too demonstrated that trend, with more than half the respondents on Indian side saying the elections had improved chances for peace(later in 2014, Jammu and Kashmir elections recorded highest percentage of voters turnout).[59]
  • Survey said that, "These results support the already widespread view that the plebiscite options are likely to offer no solution to the dispute."[60]
  • "The results aren't surprising at all. I feel they re-emphasize the need to look beyond traditional positions and evaluate the contours of a solution grounded in today's realities," said Sajjad Lone on this survey, a former ally of the Hurriyat who unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Indian general elections but won in 2014 Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections.[59]
  • Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, second son of former Libyan dictator colonel Muammar Gaddafi, tried to rig this survey to contrive a pro-Pakistan opinion poll in Kashmir. Bradnock says that Saif returned from Pak administered Kashmir with grandiose ideas of forcing a plebiscite in Kashmir as desired by Pakistan.[61]

Criticism and Controversies[edit]

Relations with Pakistani ISI[edit]

Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, a senior leader of Jammu & Kashmir National Conference and son of Sheikh Abdullah criticised Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for working on "dictations" given by Pakistan. He accused Geelani of being "a double agent" on "the payroll of Pakistan's ISI".[62][63][64]

Kamal said "Geelani has tried to 'ignite and incite' people by 'hollow slogans and destructive emotionalism', whenever even a Pakistani clerk comes to India and summons this ex-lawmaker(Geelani), he rushes to Delhi to take dictation about how to ensure that uncertainty prevails in the state."[63][62][64][65][66]

Pakistan also openly supported Geelani and Hurriyat, Pakistan have had several meetings with Hurriyat leaders. The three-member delegation from Pakistan High Commission led by Abdul Basit met Geelani at his Malviya Nagar residence in March 2015, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit assured Geelani of complete support conveying that the country's stand on Kashmir remains unchanged despite regime change in New Delhi.[67][68][69] Basit also invited Geelani for Pakistan Day function on March 23. Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, ritually invites pro-separatist leadership of Jammu and Kashmir for the function every year.[66][69][70][68]

Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), an American government intelligence agency, in their first ever open acknowledgement in 2011 in US Court said that Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, sponsors terrorism in Kashmir and it oversees terrorist separatist groups in Kashmir.[71][72][73][74][72][75]

Staging Fake "Freedom Struggle"[edit]

Geelani and his Hurriyat has been criticised for staging a fake protest or fake 'freedom struggle' by paying money to local unemployed youth.[76][77] According to stone pelters who were arrested, each stone pelter is paid Rs 400($6–7) every Friday. Police said the money is being raised locally by Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani's followers. Most of the money comes from fruit mandi and saw mills, Pak based LeT terrorists also participates in stone peltings,[77] the police said.[76][78][79][77]

Appeal to Boycott of Elections[edit]

Geelani and Hurriyat had appealed to people of Kashmir to boycott the 2014 Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly elections completely, arguing that "India has been holding elections in the Valley using the power of gun and so such an exercise is not legitimate".[80] But despite of repeated boycott appeals, 2014 assembly election recorded record voter's turnout of more than 65% which was highest in 25 years of history and higher than normal voting percentages in other states of India.[39][81][82]

After record voting percentage in Kashmir, Hurriyat and its leaders have been heavily criticised by mainstream media for misleading people of Kashmir and for not representing true sentiments of Kashmiri people.[83][84][85][86]

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said on high election voter turnout,"Separatist militants are frustrated because they are feeling that despite the use of guns and bombs and killing people, democracy is still alive in this state. I want to congratulate those voters of J&K who have voted in large numbers and made democracy victorious irrespective of the outcome."[87]

The European Parliament, on the behalf of European Union, welcomed the smooth conduct of the State Legislative Elections in the Jammu and Kashmir.[88] The EU in its message said that, "The high voter turnout figure proves that democracy is firmly rooted in India. The EU would like to congratulate India and its democratic system for conduct of fair elections, unmarred by violence, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir".[88][89][90] The European Parliament also takes cognizance of the fact that a large number of Kashmiri voters turned out despite calls for the boycott of elections by certain separatist forces.[89]

Current members[edit]

Current members All Parties Hurriyat Conference include:

Number Name of the Party Leader
1 Aawami Action Committee Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
2 Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Conference Bilal Ghani Lone
3 Anjamani Auqafi Jama Masjid Mohammad Umar Farooq
4 Anjaman-e-Tablig-ul Islam Syed Qasim Shah Bukhari
5 Ummat Islami Qazi Ghulam Mohammad Islamabad Anantnag
6 Auquaf Jama Masjid Ghulam Muhammad Butt
7 Employees and Workers Confederation
8 Employees & Workers Confederation (Arsawi Group)
9 All Jammu & Kashmir Employees’ Confederation Ishtiaq Qadri
10 Jamiate Ulama-E-Islam Abdul Gani Azhari
11 Jamiat-e-Hamdania Moulana M. Yasin Hamdani
12 Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference Abdul Ghani Lone till 2002 assassination
13 Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Muhammad Yasin Malik
14 Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Committee Noor-Ul-Hassan
15 Jammu and Kashmir People's Basic Rights (Protection) Committee Mufti Bahauddin Farouqi
16 Liberation Council Azhar Bhat
17 Kashmir Bazme Tawheed Tajamul Bhat
18 Kashmir Bar Association Zaroon bhat
19 Muslim Khawateen Markaz Zaid Bhat
20 Muslim Conference Khokhar e aazam
21 Tehreek-e-Huriati Kashmiri Saqib Bhat
22 People's League Sheikh Yaqoob
23 Peoples Political Party Eng Hilal Ahmad War
24 Imam Ahmad Raza Islamic Mission Rafeeq Ahmad Mir
25 Saut-Ul-Aliya Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi
26 Jammu and Kashmir People's Freedom League Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
27 Ittihadul Muslimeen Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari

Hurriyat Conference has three factions: Hurriyat led by SAS Geelani, Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Hurriyat led by Shabir Shah, Azam Inquilabi & Nayeem KHan. JKLF is not part of these factions.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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