Shabir Shah

After being in the jail for umpteenth time senior separatist leader and chairman Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Ahmad Shah was released recently. Undone from the circle of arrest and re-arrest Shah’s release order came directly from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Shah was not keeping well in the jail and he was operated upon at Government Medical College Jammu during his latest incarceration. Another surgery is due soon.
Shah’s release has come after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced that Government of India would be initiating a dialogue with “all shades of opinion” (read separatists) and said that the dialogue would be held away from the media glare terming it as “quiet diplomacy’. Union minister Dr Farooq Abdullah termed the release of Shabir Shah as the step taken by New Delhi to create conducive atmosphere for the talks.
“We wish to see political detainees released, and I feel that this can be achieved,” Farooq said, adding that government had begun to set free the detainees in a phased manner. “Shabir Ahmad Shah has been released, and other detainees, too, will be set free to create a conducive atmosphere for talks,” he said. Separatists have all along being calling for release of Kashmiri prisoners from the jails.
After his release, Shah expressing his views on the proposed dialogue process said that any strategic decision about the future of Jammu and Kashmir should be taken unanimously. Repeating his call for unity among the entire separatist leadership Shah claimed that unity is present in the camp and only consensus through dialogue is needed.
Shah lamented the painful conditions of the Kashmiri detenues languishing in various jails within and outside the state. According to Shah, “The detainees are suffering in these jails as they are denied all the facility even medicare.” Shah called for making the legal cell of Hurriyat Conference into a more vibrant tool, so that they would be able to process and follow the cases of these detainees.
Shah offered his services for legal cell and said he would work for its complete overhaul.


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