Kashmiri separatists urge unity after Hizb rift


Srinagar:┬áReacting to the controversy over militant commander Zakir Musa’s audio messages and his subsequent dissociation from Hizbul Mujahideen, the Kashmiri separatist trio of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik today appealed for maintaining political unity.

“All political and militant organisations must follow freedom struggle with vision and wisdom and maintain unity. It is time to remain united and follow the cherished goal with spirit of persistence and unity among all the concerned factions,” Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said here in a joint statement.

The separatists said the struggle was in its “crucial stage” and people need to be careful.

“Freedom movement is in its crucial stage and we need to be careful as our enemy can derive advantage from prevailing crises,” they said.

Musa had warned the separatists against terming the Kashmir insurgency as “political” instead of “Islamic”, followed by his dissociation from Hizbul Mujahideen after the outfit said his remarks about Hurriyat leaders were his personal opinion.

“In nineties, the situation was more awful and complex.

We paid a lot in terms of precious lives and kind. We were engaged in petty and non-serious matters and as such instead of following logic we were swayed by our emotions. Disunity and differences proved disastrous in past and the enemy forces succeeded at various stages to sabotage our mission,” they said.

Apparently referring to their stand on Kashmir being a political issue rather than a religious one, the separatists said “we stand by our earlier statement”.

“We stand by our earlier statement and are following the freedom struggle and facing shrewd enemy,” the statement said.

They said the authorities were “choking” their voice and now is the time to remain cautious.

“On one hand, they are hatching conspiracies and on the other are employing all their repressive measures and military might to sabotage the movement. However, all political and militant factions have decided to face all these and remain united. We won’t allow them to create rifts among resistance camp or divide leadership and nation,” they said.

They asked the separatist and militant outfits to remain cautious and “let us not harm our struggle and desist from all such steps which may help these forces to play folly with freedom movement”.

The separatists said that “our youth need to learn much more from senior leadership and we all need to go hand in hand and work together to achieve our mission”.