Thursday, 29 May 2008

JKLF faces new challenges

JKLF faces new challenges
Shabir Choudhry

After failure of non- violent struggle, Yasin Malik and his colleagues known as Hajy Group, started armed struggle in 1988. Prior to that both India and Pakistan hoping that with time people will accept the status -quo put the Kashmir dispute in cold storage.

So it was the JKLF who started the present struggle in Kashmir, and because of huge sacrifices of the people the Kashmir dispute came high up on the international agenda. Now voices are heard from different corners of the world that Kashmir dispute has to be resolved because it poses a great threat to peace and stability.

We hope that it would be the JKLF to take the struggle for national independence to its logical conclusion. This, indeed, is a gigantic task, and I hope that the JKLF is well prepared to accomplish this. JKLF is a revolutionary party with mass support in all regions of the State. And its Chairman, Yasin Malik is young and energetic man with personal following not only in the State but also in various parts of the world including India and Pakistan.

JKLF is the only Kashmiri party which has branches on both sides of the forcibly divided State. It also has strong and dedicated membership in various parts of the world including Britain and America. Yasin Malik is the first Kashmiri leader who managed to hold its Party Summit in New York, where delegates from Britain, Azad Kashmir& Pakistan, Canada, America and Kashmir participated.

In this two day JKLF Summit many issues related to the Kashmiri struggle were thoroughly discussed and important decisions were taken; and certain contingency plans were put in place. It was realised that the existing JKLF structure needs to be improved in order to meet forthcoming challenges. After a lengthy debate a new organisational structure was agreed, and it is hoped that the new structure would help the JKLF to improve its efficiency and effectively face new challenges. The aim of this Summit was to analyse the situation and come out with a structure and plan that the JKLF fulfils its international role effectively

Apart from reorganising the JKLF, Yasin Malik has left his mark in political and diplomatic circles of America and Britain. After a lot of pressure from human rights organisations and some governments, Yasin Malik was allowed to travel to America and Britain on medical grounds. While touring these countries he paid little attention to his health and strenuously worked to project the Kashmir cause which is more important to him then his health.

His message was simple and direct. He did not beat about the bush and expressed his views in simple and honest way and that had very positive affect on the audience wherever he went. As I was with him in most of his engagements, I have seen people crying after listening to his speech, especially non- Kashmiris.

During his trip abroad he has made some new and powerful friends, but that in turn means animosity of other powerful groups. It is not prudent to be unfriendly with these powerful groups, but it was their decision to be unfriendly because what he said and did was against their personal and national interest. In JKLF, without insulting any one, we like to call spade a spade, and that sometimes is misconstrued and is disliked. Apart from that we are determined to pursue the cause of national independence, and certain powerful groups also dislike this. The result of all this is more opposition to what we say and do.

Yasin Malik's visit abroad and his tough stand to project the Kashmir cause and the policy of JKLF has disturbed many people. What this means is that Yasin Malik and the JKLF will have to face new difficulties and new challenges. The next few months are important not only for the JKLF and Yasin Malik but also for the Kashmiri struggle. And if Yasin Malik and the JKLF could stick to their guns and effectively face forthcoming difficulties and new challenges then they would be successful. They may lose battle or two but they will win the war; and above all people of Kashmir will admire their stand and the JKLF will dominate the Kashmiri politics for many years to come.

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