In a setback to Mohammad Yaseen Malik, some leaders of his rival faction in the J-K Liberation Front (JKLF) have joined hands with former front leaders and staked claim to the reins of the party. The purported aim: To ‘‘remodel’’ JKLF and make it less ‘‘autocratic’’.
This faction of the JKLF has blamed the leadership, headed by Malik, for not enforcing the front’s Constitution, drafted in June 2001 in New York. ‘‘The attitude was adopted wilfully to enforce authoritarian regime in the organisation’’, leader of the faction, Saleem Nanhaji, said at a press conference here.
The faction has proposed an interim body headed by Canada-based Farooq Siddiqui alias Farooq Papa. London-based Abdul Majeed Tramboo is its coordinator general, Javed Ahmad Mir its convenor and Salim the general secretary. Other prominent faces in the group are former militant commanders, including Mohammad Iqbal Gandroo, Wajahat Qureshi and Khursheed Ahmad Dar (Rasikh Khan).
It could not be confirmed whether Farooq Papa, a senior front leader who is the interim chairman of the faction, has parted ways with Malik to head the rival faction. The decision has come at a time when he is touring the US.
Javed Mir had floated his own group, J-K Liberation Forum, after leaving the Malik-led front, two years ago. His group is presently with the moderate Hurriyat faction. Mir called the move a ‘‘homecoming’’.
The leaders refused to go into the debate over which faction, Malik’s or Faroooq Siddiqi’s, is the real front. ‘‘The leaders accompanying me infused life to the front in 1988 and they have spent 10 to 15 years behind bars’’, Mir said. ‘‘Our work should determine which faction is real and which is not’’.
The front faction said the New York summit had asked for free, fair and impartial election to party’s central structure including the chairman. ‘‘That was never implemented and the current adhoc body is wholly unconstitutional,’’ Saleem said. ‘‘Non-democratisation and lack of transparency within JKLF has left the organisation in limbo’’. He said the body proposed by his front was interim and a permanent set-up would be elected in accordance with the Constitution, whenever its chairman and other leaders are allowed to come to Srinagar.
Sources in the faction said they were ready to join the moderate Hurriyat faction led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq but would wait for a formal invitation. ‘‘We want a formal invitation and would like a berth in its executive’’, said a leader. The front led by Malik is not a part of either Hurriyat faction.
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