Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Hurriyat G’s New Chief And His Views - How to read them ?

By B L Saraf

Politics in and about Kashmir is as unpredictable as its weather . With respect to that of the separatists , so can be said with a great deal of authenticity . Given the one dimensional – rather stubborn - stand on vital issues , Hurriyat leadership, of any hue, provides very little to make a fair and dispassionate analytical comment on their politics and the politicking . Nevertheless , the statement of Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai - interim Tehrik-e Hurriayat Chairman - has opened up a small window enabling one to make a comment, from separatist’s perspective , on the ongoing violent turmoil in J &K . In an interview to the media in Srinagar , Sehrai aired his views on ISIS and extremist Islamic politics . According to him , there was no role in Kashmir’s struggle for the organizations which had a global agenda . He said “ elements who raise ISIS flags at militants funeral create confusion , a close watch will be kept on them and after elections to the Tehreek e Hurriyat they will be completely stopped from raising such flags .”

Referring to Zakir Musa – new poster boy of the ISIS in Kashmir , Sehrai said that he will tell him that by moving towards extremism he was giving a message to the world that “ we are extremists and deserve to be killed .”

Quite understandably , this statement triggered a contentious debate among various quarters in Valley and across the LOC . Those who work for peace in Kashmir welcomed it . To them it was a much needed ‘ strong ‘ statement against extremism . At the other end were the people who questioned this statement by arguing that “ Kashmiris have laid down lives for Islam and not the indigenous cause .”

The change in guard of T E H and the statement of new Chief has come at a time when SAS Geelani – outgoing chief - made it public that he was approached by the ‘ Intelligence Bureau (IB ) for a dialogue with the GOI which he declined . This statement raises a question . Is Dineshwar Sarma – the Center’s interlocutor – in for some serious business ? We have some sort of confirmation of it by what Sharma left unsaid to a question put to him by the media persons , in this regard , but admitted that he was thinking about it .That should give some hope to the people who yearn for peace in the State .

We must keep in mind that both Ashraf Sehrai and Geelani are wedded to the same ideology and have been following same school of thought which, unfortunately, is founded in bigotry and hatred . But then what new chief has said and somewhat positive reaction it has evoked in Srinagar the aforementioned developments cannot go unnoticed. Here one may tend to go deeper into the reasons for Dineswer Sharma’a appointment and mandate given to him by the GOI . After all, people are yet to see what the yearlong NIA investigation against some separatists and their ‘ sympathizers’ has yielded to see they are brought to the justice . Have things started to fall into a pattern ? Difficult to say yes but not impossible to see one .

Ashraf Sehrai’s statement may give some hope that at last what is happening in the world on the terrorism front , especially in the West Asian and Arab part of it , has begun to dawn on the separatists . Though a bit farfetched at the time , nonetheless, it may not be out of place to refer to words of grand Mufti of Al – Azhar University , Dr Shawki Ibrahim spoken while addressing round table conference called PAIGHAM –I – Pakistan and terrorism . He said “ Only courts could declare a person infidel and only the state could declare a jihad . Groups like Daesh - the militant Islamic State - strayed away from the message of Islam and were targeting Muslim youth through social media .” And when we put the visible policy messages that come from West Asia and Saudi Arabia in a perspective , a new scenario emerges out .

Quite a number of Temples have started to dot the space in West Asian countries . Till the recent past one couldn’t think of an Idol being placed for worship in the land of iconoclasts . Saudi Arabia has opened up its air space for Air Indian to fly to Israel .

Having said so , the unrelenting Kashmir predictability stares us hard . No sooner had the new Hurriyat Chief advised Zakir Musa to shun violence , his own MBA degree holder son took to the armed militancy . Well , some would see it as an opportunity for Sehrai to walk the talk and speak to his son in the same way he advised Musa to leave the path of violence .

Today , voices of approval of Ashraf Sehrai’s statement may be fewer . We wish their constituency is expanded for the larger good of the State . For that Sehrai himself will have to demonstrate strength of will and stand by what he has said in the interview . Streets in the State have bathed enough in blood . It is time to give them some respite . As of now it may be a wishful thinking . Sometimes miracles do happen in this world when wishes come true . Let us all pray !

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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