In sharp variance with its past of supporting armed insurgency as a means to achieve a “solution” to the Kashmir question, the Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella group of separatist organizations has called for a cessation of violence as means to achieve their objectives. Sharp disagreements between various elements within the group have led to fratricide to those who disagreed with a point of view. The moderate elements have also been targets of more rabid Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) as they oppose integration of Kashmir with Pakistan.
Chairman of the Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said that his organization will work to “build consensus among” terrorists groups “at the earliest” so the movement that has produce more “graveyards” can be stopped. A delegation of the Hurriyat had also recently visited Pakistan and met with President Pervez Musharraf and several groups in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Specifically they met only those who are part of the so-called United Jihad Council (UJC) meaning that they did not meet the LeT or JeM terrorists. Part of their proposal is to “institutionalize” the Kashmir issue with the formation of “contact” groups to be part of track-three diplomacy to “give vital suggestions to all those involved in track ones (sic) as well as track-two diplomacy.”
This move is seen as the Kashmiris trying to take back a struggle that has long slipped away from their hands into the hands of hard-core and pro-Pakistani elements. With democracy taking deep roots in the state, the Hurriyat is trying hard to carve a space for them by initiating “process” to bring peace. The truth is that peace already reigns in the Valley and people are eager to get a part of the economic growth of India.