Appealing people to restrain from voting, senior separatist leader and Freedom Party patron, Shabir Ahmad Shah challenged the government on Thursday that if it (government) allows the separatists to move freely for their boycott campaigning, the people will never take part in the election process. “Hamain election boycott muhim chalanay ka Azadana moqa diya jaye to patta challa ga ke loog kis ki bat mantay hain (If we are allowed to reach the people freely then they will come to know with whom the people are),” he said.
During a press conference in Srinagar, Shah alleged that the chief minister Omar Abdullah has no courage to face the separatists politically. “If Omar has courage, he should not use police and come in the political field and contest the separatists politically,” Shah said.
Stressing for the return of the mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, Shah said that “to imprison the dead bodies is an oppressive act and India is using all sorts of oppressions to suppress the Kashmiris and their movement”.
He pressed for an immediate release of imprisoned separatist leaders like Masrat Aalam Bhat, Nayeem Khan and all the other prisoners saying “Geelani Sahab has been jailed in a larger jail”.
Shah claimed that ‘some’ separatist leaders are ‘tired’ which compelled them to de-track the movement. “People who feel tiredness should leave and not try de-track the freedom struggle,” Shah said without naming the leaders he was referring to.
On the occasion, he announced that his party is going to distribute literature in Hindi, Urdu and English among the tourists visiting Kashmir, so as “to educate them about the Kashmir issue”.
Shah even opposed the recently administrative restructuring of Hurriyat (M) saying that he was not taken on board before taking the decision. “I was in jail and my party was not taken into confidence before taking the decision. I had given very valuable suggestions to Hurriyat, but those were not accepted, nor were I informed about them. So, I think that the restructuring of Hurriyat is yet to be done,” Shah said.
He alleged that some “hidden hands” sabotaged the unity agreement made between the two factions of Hurriyat Conferences in 2008. “The agreement was signed by Geelani Sahab, Mirwaiz Sahab, Sehrai Sahab and me, but when I was arrested the same agreement was not followed,” Shah said adding “I am unable to identify the hidden hands who sabotaged the agreement”. Shah again stressed for unity among the separatist amalgams.
He also announced that his party is going to host a grand conference in the month of August and the different aspects of the Kashmir dispute will be discussed in the said conference.