Masrat Alam Bhat, the newly appointed chairman of the Hurriyat Conference, was a terrorist before joining separatist politics in 1996, according to police documents. He was a commander of a pro Pakistan terrorist group.
By Vaishali Pandey/ The Newster
Pakistan looks to be attempting greater meddling in Kashmir, especially following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, according to reports. Masrat Alam Bhat, a jailed disciple of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has been appointed chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a week after his death.
Masrat Alam Bhat, a considerably more extreme figure than Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has been imprisoned at Tihar Jail cell in Delhi since 2015. According to reports, he was Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s inevitable successor.
According to a senior police official who did not want to be identified, told NDTV, “he is a pro-Pakistan hardliner and the only visible face with some kind of public credibility in Hurriyat. It’s clear that Pakistan is running its agenda now.”
As the Hurriyat tries to prove Masrat Alam Bhat is now in command, officials predict more calls for protests in the Kashmir valley in the coming days. “Already, many calls have been made by Hurriyat in the last one week. We have made arrangements as we anticipate some action around Friday,” according to the officer.
Although the Jammu and Kashmir Police Department claims to have dealt with the situation promptly following Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s funeral, they expect certain radicalised individuals to try to cause unrest.
Shabbir Ahmad Shah and Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar will serve as vice-chairmen, while Moulvi Bashir Ahmad Irfani would continue to serve as the Hurriyat’s general secretary, according to the officer.
Masrat Alam And His Role In Hurriyat And Kashmir’s Unrest
After being jailed, Masrat joined the separatist Muslim League and quickly climbed through the ranks to become the party’s leader.
When the Hurriyat Conference was divided between moderates and hardliners in 2003, Masrat Alam Bhat sided with Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s camp or hardliners camp. When some of the Hurriyat Conference’s leaders were jailed, he was appointed general secretary.
According to a top Jammu and Kashmir Police official, “In 2008 and also in 2010, Masrat called the shots while issuing protest calendars. In fact, Geelani wanted to end strike calls but Masrat persisted.”
“Considering the challenges, Hurriyat members have got in touch with each other and unanimously agreed that Masrat Alam Bhat will be made the chairman,” the officer added.
The Hurriyat Conference was founded in 1993 by 26 organisations, including several pro-Pakistan and well-known terror organisations such as Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), and Dukhtaran-e-Millat. The People’s Conference and the Awami Action Committee, led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, were also included in this list.
In 2019, the Jamaat-e-Islami and the JKLF were declared terrorist organisations by the United Nations.