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Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front

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Flag of Kashmir Independence

The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), founded by Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Bhat, is a Kashmiri nationalist organization founded in Birmingham, England on May 29, 1977. From then until 1994 it was an active terrorist organization.[1][2] It first established branches in several cities and towns of the UK, and other countries of Europe, USA and Middle East. In 1982, it established a branch in Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir; in 1987, a branch in Indian-administered Kashmir Valley.

After 1994, the JKLF in Kashmir Valley, under the leadership of Yasin Malik, declared an `indefinite ceasefire' and reportedly disbanded its military wing. It committed itself to a political struggle for achieving its objective of independence for the entire region of the former princely state.[1] The JKLF branch in Azad Kashmir did not agree with this change of direction and split off from the JKLF (Valley).

Even though the JKLF has only Muslim members, it is notionally secular. It continues to assert that a secular, independent Kashmir free of both India and Pakistan, is its eventual goal.[3][4] Despite having received weapons and training from Pakistani military,[5] it regards Pakistan as an `occupation power' and carries out political struggle against it in Azad Kashmir.[6]

Splits and reunification

The JKLF split into two factions after the group based in Indian-administered Kashmir led by Yasin Malik publicly renounced violence in 1995. Their counterparts in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, led by Amanullah Khan refused to do so, thereby precipitating a split in the party.[7]

Since 1995, Yasin Malik has renounced violence and calls for strictly peaceful methods to come to a settlement on the Kashmir issue. [1] Yasin Malik also considers the Hindu Kashmiris, about 400,000 Hindus who were driven out of Kashmir after violent attacks by the separatists presently staying in refugee camps in Jammu and other Indian cities, to be an integral part of Kashmiri society and has insisted on their right of return.

Yasin Malik said,

"We want our Kashmiri Pandit mothers, sisters and brothers to come back. It is their land. They have every right to live in it as we do. This is the time that Kashmiri Muslims must play a constructive role so that we can restore the culture for which we are famous all over the world."[8]

In 2002, in an interview to Reuters, Amanullah Khan blamed Pakistani backed non-Kashmiri Muslim militants for having harmed his cause.

"I've been saying for the last two to three years that (non-Kashmiri militants) are changing the Kashmir freedom struggle into terrorism."[9]

After the December 2001 attack on Indian Parliament, Amanullah's name figured in the list of 20 wanted terrorists[10] India provided to Pakistan to be extradited for various terrorist offences. In January 2002, Amanullah Khan offered to surrender to Indian authorities provided an "international court issued a verdict against him".[10]

In 2005, India allowed Yasin Malik to visit Pakistan for the first time. The two leaders, Malik and Khan seized the opportunity to meet each other in Pakistan. In June 2005, a decade after the split, Malik and Khan agreed to reunite the JKLF. The unification of JKLF was started by Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa) while Yasin Malik visited the US but did not mature as conditions by both sides were not accepted.[11]

However, in December 2005, most of the senior members of the JKLF separated from Yasin Malik and formed a new JKLF with Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa) as its Chairman along with Javed Mir, Salim Nannaji and Iqbal Gundroo later joined by the longest (16 years) imprisoned Kashmiri former militant Bitta Karate. Lately Tahir Mir former chief of Students Liberation Front too parted ways with Malik and joined JKLF headed by Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa).[12] Kashmir watchers think that Yasin Malik's shifting policy of seeking an internal solution with India after its alleged secret meeting with the Prime Minister of India led to the secession of its senior leaders.[13][14] Farooq Papa is considered to be a hard liner ideologically. Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa) supports the involvement of the European Union in resolving the dispute, and has called on EU officials to follow up the visit of an ad hoc European parliament delegation to Kashmir in 2004.[15][2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (7 August 2003). "Pakistan: Activities of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF); whether the JKLF practices forced recruitment, and if so, whether this is done in collaboration with the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP)". UNHCR. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front". SATP. 2001. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Jaffrelot 2002, p. 186.
  4. ^ Pakistan: Activites [sic] of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), UNHCR,2003-08-07
  5. ^ Bose 2003, p. 3
  6. ^ Jaffrelot 2002, p. 299.
  7. ^ Samii, Cyrus. Seizing the Moment in Kashmir. SAIS Review vol 26, no. 1.
  8. ^ "Come back, Yasin Malik tells Kashmiri Pandits". January 21, 2004. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Amanullah Khan fears Pak may target JKLF". January 11, 2002. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "JKLF chief Amanullah Khan offers to surrender". January 11, 2002. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Kashmiri separatist group unites". 9 June 2005. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Malik under fire, rebels call for 'less autocratic' JKLF". Dec 24, 2005. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ "PMO in secret talks with secessionists". Jan 25, 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Malik Under Fire, Rebels Call For 'less Autocratic' JKLF". 23 December 2005. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ Farooq Siddiqui (31 May 2007). "India's democracy deficit in Kashmir". Retrieved August 22, 2012. 

Further reading

External links