Masarat Alam Pakistani Lackey Is New Separatist Hurriyat Leader
The All Party Hurriyat Conference was formed by Pro Pak Separatists on July 31, 1993, as an amalgam of 23 political and religious parties led by Mirwaiz. However with different factions with political ideologies at variance, ranging from active support to terrorism to just political dissent, it suffered a spilt in 2003.
The split happened because Geelani accused the Peoples Conference of fielding proxies in the assembly election. Since then, there’s been a huge divide between the Geelani and Mirwaiz groups leveling serious accusations against each other.
Geelani the separatist was uncompromising in his love for Pakistan and his ultimate aim was merger of J&K with Pakistan. On the other hand, at the other end in Hurriyat they would dabble with Pakistan for support only but engaged with Central Government too.
Geelani would go all out in support of separatist movement in Kashmir. This Separatist leader had even declared the Mirwaiz faction as ‘traitors’ because Mirwaiz faction started a dialogue with former Prime Ministers A.B. Vajpayee’s government. Geelani also vociferously opposed the four-point formula on Kashmir of former Pakistan military dictator Gen. Parvez Musharraf, prompting the latter to say, “Get out of the way, old man”. in fact, Geelani had even held funeral prayers for Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden too.
Soon after Geelani’s death, it was clear that Pakistan would prefer Masarat Alam over the others. Geelani’s death came as a setback for Pakistan during the present phase as circumstances are not favouring the separatists any more says an activist who has followed Geelani since the early 1990s.
In normal circumstances, there would have been many claimants for the post. But today, no one among the separatists is willing to take the lead. Thus Masarat’s appointment has symbolic value as the new face of Kashmir Separatism.
Masarat Alam Bhat has been made the Chairman on 7th Sep. A protégé of Geelani, this 50-year-old is a staunch Pakistan supporter currently lodged in Tihar jail for terror funding. He has spent more than two decades of his life in jails. He has been made the Leader to give a boost to separatist outfits in the Valley as they have been left redundant. There is no support coming from the population and the the government also Now has a zero tolerance against separatism.
Alam ‘s appointment is an attempt by Pakistan to marginalise the moderate voices among the Hurriyats such as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of Mirwaiz faction of the Hurriyat.
Masarat is a fiery orator is an alumnus of Srinagar’s prestigious missionary school, Tyndale Biscoe. In 2010,when there had been protests against the killing of teenager Tufail Mattoo, Masarat had led the agitation issuing protest and shutdown calendars while in hiding. He was arrested by the J&K Police from Srinagar’s outskirts and booked under the Public Safety Act, that allows detention of a person without bail up to six months. After the PDP-BJP government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed came to power in J&K, he was released briefly in 2015 but was re-arrested a month later. Since then, he has been behind bars along with scores of pro Pakistan separatists and activists including leaders such as Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan and Asiya Andrabi with charges ranging from money laundering to terror funding.
Presently majority of leaders from the Geelani faction are in jail and there was now a possibility of moderate faces such as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq taking over. For the past two years, the moderate separatists have toned down their rhetoric and maintained a stony silence.
Many including the 48-year-old Mirwaiz who is also the Valley’s chief priest and presides over the pulpit in Srinagar’s Jama Masjid, are out of jail but are under house detention.His faction has not called for any shutdown, protest or even a seminar.
The last statement mailed to media persons in Srinagar expressed condolences for Geelani’s death but did not announce a shutdown even after some alleged that their father’s body was snatched by the police and given a quiet burial. The police have denied the allegations. It is hard for Mirwaiz, especially amid the current situation, to publicly endorse or give political legitimacy to the militancy. His father Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq was himself assassinated by terrorists on May 21, 1990.
However for Pakistan, any toning down of Separatism is unpalatable and so they have ensured the appointment of Alam. However now India has changed and has zero tolerance for any Terrorism or separatism. In the is ready to strike back at any organization or country trying to weaken India, with apology to none.
Hurriyat now knows fully well that if it is established in Court that they have funded terrorism, they will be banned. The August 2019 moves has Spelt out the clear intentions of Indian Government and has dealt a severe psychological blow to the anti-national separatists.
The cases of termination of government employees in the national interest, police cases for raising the Pakistan flag and shouting anti-national slogans, have shown that now Government has started governing. Now the entire nation is aware and united about issues in Kashmir.
Now any unlawful action, especially pro Pakistan actions is likely to invite a ban on the Hurriyat under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). Though nothing has been officially announced. Any one who advocates separatism will not be tolerated.
Though people like Prof. Ghani Bhat, a senior leader of the Hurriyat Conference and a votary of dialogue on Kashmir, does not believe that Hurriyat has become irrelevant. Such people are hopeful because of changed situation in Afghanistan.
Well now India is ready and the Indian Army does not believe in quitting any part of India like the US Army has quit Afghanistan.