MIRWAIZ UMAR FAROOQ

As the debate seems to be settling down post reported interview of Hurriyat patriarch, Syed Ali Geelani, there was much talk in the air about how India shall move forward on K-Issue. Peacenik Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is one among the many pinning hopes on Hindu Nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party led NDA government in New Delhi.

Back home, for quite some days, Mirwaiz is on the move. Unlike others, he has been able to reach out to people from North to South. He also attended, for the first time, the Human Rights Day seminar of Kashmir’s High Court Bar Association.

Mirwaiz is quite thankful to Kashmiris for their “unflinching and uncountable sacrifices for the freedom struggle”. However, he is not averse to the “bilateral developments” happening post Indian foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan. It has been in the “holy book” of All Parties Hurriyat Conference that Kashmir remains the core participant in any development between nuclear armed South Asian neighbours.

Making it to front page tabloids, in valley and in Delhi press, Mirwaiz seems quite revealing these days. He feels one needs “guts of being BJP to resolve Kashmir Issue”. So far, he is the only resistance leader from Kashmir to have welcomed the “bilateral engagements” of New Delhi and Pakistan with the duo including Jammu and Kashmir issue in their joint declaration issued from Islamabad.

When Pakistan premier, Nawaz Sharief, landed in New Delhi to attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in-ceremony, it was Mirwaiz who stopped Pakistan High Commissioner from inviting Hurriyat leaders for meeting Sharief. “We would meet after some formal dialogue process shapes up,” he told the New Delhi office of Pak High Commission. Again when NSAs were to meet, he was against having any meet.

Mirwaiz was instrumental in having two times meeting with New Delhi; first with Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA and then with UPA-1. He believes “dialogue can be used as a means of resistance itself”. The Hurriyat amalgam he heads is famous for being receptive to Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s “Insaaniyat Kay Daayray Mein slogan”.

Son of slain religo-politico leader, Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq, Umar secured PhD from University of Kashmir. Of late, he has been asking people for the alternatives to strikes which is being used as a common tool to “counter Indian atrocities” by Hurriyat.

– Riyaz ul Khaliq

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