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Flag of Kashmir Independence


The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), founded by Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Bhat, is a Kashmiri nationalist organization founded in Birmingham, UK on May 29, 1977. Within a couple of years branches were established in several cities and towns of the UK; and also in several countries of Europe, USA and Middle East. In 1982 branches were established in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Pakistan and in 1987 in Indian-administered Kashmir (Jammu & Kashmir).

JKLF seeks control of the Indian segments of the former Dogra kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir, as it existed prior to August 1947. The JKLF claims that they are not Islamist, but are nationalist, and opposes the emergence of the territories into either Pakistan or India but rather wants the region of Kashmir to separate from the three countries and become independent.

Contents

Splits and reunification

The JKLF split into two factions after the group based in Indian-administered Kashmir led by Yasin Malik publicly renounced violence in 1995. Their counterparts in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, lead by Amanullah Khan refused to do so, thereby precipitating a split in the party.[1]

In 2005, India allowed Yasin Malik to visit Pakistan for the first time. The two leaders, Malik and Khan seized the opportunity to meet each other in Pakistan. In June 2005, a decade after the split, Malik and Khan agreed to reunite the JKLF. The unification of JKLF was started by Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa) while Yasin Malik visited the US but did not mature as conditions by both sides were not accepted.[1]

However, in December 2005, most of the senior members of the JKLF separated from Yasin Malik and formed a new JKLF with Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa) as its Chairman along with Javed Mir, Salim Nannaji and Iqbal Gundroo later joined by the longest (16 years) imprisoned Kashmiri former militant Bitta Karate. Lately Tahir Mir former chief of Students Liberation Front too parted ways with Malik and joined JKLF headed by Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa).[2].Kashmir watchers think that Yasin Malik's shifting policy of seeking an internal solution with India after its alleged secret meeting with the Prime Minister of India led to the secession of its senior leaders, (see Praveen Swami; PMO in secret talks with secessionists.[3][4]) Farooq Papa is considered to be a hard liner ideologically. Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa) supports the involvement of the European Union in resolving the dispute, and has called on EU officials to follow up the visit of an ad hoc European parliament delegation to Kashmir in 2004.[5]

Since 1995, Yasin Malik has renounced violence and calls for strictly peaceful methods to come to a settlement on the Kashmir issue. [6] Yasin Malik also considers the Hindu Kashmiris, about 400,000 Hindus who were driven out of Kashmir after alleged violent attacks by the separatists presently staying in refugee camps in Jammu and other Indian cities, to be an integral part of Kashmiri society and has insisted on their right of return.[7]

Sheikh Mohammed Afzal (S.M. Afzal) is currently representing the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (Aman group) in Indian controlled Jammu & Kashmir.[8]

Activities

References

  1. ^ Samii, Cyrus. Seizing the Moment in Kashmir. SAIS Review vol 26, no. 1.

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