Three leaders quit JKLF
SRINAGAR: The pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was shaken up on Thursday when three of its senior leaders deserted the party to form a new group.
Former JKLF deputy chief commander Khurshid Ahmad Dar alias Rasikh Khan and two other former commanders namely Iqbal Gandroo and Wahat Qureshi told media in Srinagar that they, along with their support, decided to quit the party as it was lacking a ‘credible leadership’. Without naming Javed Mir, who has been heading the organisation after the detention of Mohammad Yasin Malik, the dissident leaders of the JKLF said the present leadership had failed to strengthen the party and make it more active.
The dissidents said they had brought the matter into the notice of Mr Malik. But Mr Malik could not do anything because of being behind bars. “We have been left with no other alternative but to part ways and form our own group,” Iqbal Gandroo said in reply to a question.
The dissident JKLF leaders said they would call on the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), of which the JKLF is a constituency, to suspend the membership of the group headed by Mr Mir till Yasin Malik was out of jail. Only then decisions regarding the future of the group would be taken, they added.
However political observers thought more of the desertion of the senior JKLF leaders. They said there was more to the leaders’ statement regarding their lack of confidence in the present leadership. According to these observers, the decision of the JKLF dissidents was “just the beginning of a big game” being played by mainstream political groups including the Congress and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in winning over the separatist youth. This became clear when the JKLF dissidents favoured a dialogue with the Indian government for the resolution of Kashmir dispute.
Asked to comment on PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Syed’s open invitation to the separatist groups and armed guerrillas for an unconditional dialogue, Mr Gandroo said dialogue had to be opened up with the Kashmiri Mujahideen, who were active on the ground. “Our stand is very clear. Talks have to be initiated with the local Mujahideen and not with any political group. It is the Mujahideen who matter most. It is because of their efforts that the Kashmir dispute has been internationalised,” he said.
Asked what advice they would like to give to the Mujahideen, Mr Gandroo said, “If the Indian government adopts a positive approach and exhibits sincerity for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, we would like the Mujahideen to accept the dialogue offer and sit across the table.”