The Hurriyat’s new position is welcome but lacks credibility.
Violence, the moderate Mirwaiz said, has run its course, and the time has come for it to end. The Hurriyat at least, is ‘not prepared to sacrifice any more of (its) loved ones’. This sounds good, and the Mirwaiz deserves applause for having said it. That too, in Pakistan. It would be truly wonderful if he actually means it.
The Hurriyat itself takes its cues from Pakistan. So Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s new position came either at Islamabad’s behest or with its approval. Talk, in any case, is cheap. It would have greater credibility if it were accompanied by an announcement of a ceasefire by one of the main jihadi outfits operating in Jammu & Kashmir. What we have instead is a rejection of the Mirwaiz’s position by the likes of Syed Salahuddeen and the United Jihad Council.
This could either herald a rift-possibly a violent one-within the Hurriyat and/or a good cop-bad cop routine where India is led forward to discuss and settle along some form of Musharraf’s televised formulas. Not bad for the Hurriyat and the Mirwaiz at all, as they get to influence the outcome without actually having to get people to validate their self-arrogated, terror-supported claim to represent them.
So it’s nice to see the Mirwaiz saying positive things for a change. Rejection of violence, if it becomes Hurriyat’s policy, is a significant step in Kashmir’s return to peace. India should however wait for the key jihadi outfits to call for a ceasefire before making much of the Mirwaiz’s words.