Miffed with Mirwaiz, the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) chairman and senior Hurriyat (M) leader, Shabir Shah went public this week and claimed that he was not taken on board when the seven member Hurriyat (M) delegation left for New Delhi to visit Pakistan. He didn’t stop there and asserted that the leadership demands consistency and any leader deviating from the track of freedom will be rendered irrelevant by people. vShah said it was through media that he came to know that Hurriyat delegation was flying to Delhi. Shah spared a word for the Hurriyat amalgam that Pak visited Hurriyat team should have consulted Geelani, Malik and all pro-resistance leaders before embarking on the visit. Shah also sought explanation from Mirwaiz and said that he should make it very clear whether he was going to represent his own party there or the Hurriyat as a whole. Shah also reiterated his demand for the institutionalization of Hurriyat. With these public outbursts, it was understood that Shah’s remarks will evoke a rebuttal from the amalgam. The same happened next day on December 17 when the executive and general council representatives of the amalgam met at party headquarters at Rajbagh and called Shah’s remarks irresponsible, though his name was not mentioned.
Reacting to Mirwaiz’s statement wherein he had said that there was need for change in the outlook to find a solution to Kashmir issue, Shah said Hurriyat (M) chairman should explain the statement to the people and clarify what ‘outlook’ he was talking about.
The amalgam also castigated Shah’s public remarks by stating that such politicians are playing divisive politics. The participants categorically stated that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was an “uncontested head of the conglomerate” and was leading a delegation to Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir to meet the leadership and present before them Kashmiri aspirations and emotions.
Earlier, Shah who refuses to travel on Indian passport had sought permission to travel to Pakistan as a part of Hurriyat delegation through the bus to Muazaffarabad. Shah, who is part of Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat, had initially opposed the visit. He had argued that the visit would not produce anything as Kashmir was not a priority for the Pakistan government, which was knotted in its own problems and that the general elections in Pakistan were round the corner. However, after his meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner, Salman Bashir on Nov 19 in New Delhi, Shah changed his mind and applied for travel permission.