On what is ironic

Further adventures of the moderate Mirwaiz

Speaking from atop his wooden throne in Srinagar’s Jama Masjid earlier this month, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq delivered a stinging attack on politicians who will contest the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections next month.

“I want to ask the Prime Minister of India,” the cleric and secessionist politician said in his October 10 sermon, “whether it serves any purpose to hold discussions with leaders who do not dare move among the masses unless they are protected by a cordon of guards.”

Mirwaiz Farooq’s fighting words would have had a great moral force had it not been for one uncomfortable fact: he is among the ranks of politicians he railed against. Like his secessionist colleagues Sajjad Gani Lone, Bilal Gani Lone, Abdul Gani Butt and Aga Syed Hassan, the Mirwaiz is protected by the Jammu and Kashmir police. In addition, the Mirwaiz—whose father was assassinated by jihadists — has invested in a bullet-proof car. [The Hindu]

Alas, Praveen Swami reports that the ‘moderate’ Mirwaiz has hardened his position, even to the extent of signing a secret deal with the not-at-all-moderate Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Mr Swami’s restates the simple old point—the Hurriyat hungers for power, not dialogue; and that instead of a dalliance with them, India should seriously involve the democratically elected politicians in finding a solution to the problems in Jammu & Kashmir.