19 June, 2021

Lonesome Dove

Unlike other Hurriyat leaders, he belonged to the breed of mainstream political leaders who possess that admirable instinct to judge the direction of the wind.

Lonesome Dove
It's journalists who usually seek out politicians. On February 1, 2002, though, it was Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Lone who expressed a desire to talk to Outlook. In the sparse drawing room of a New Delhi flat, Lone talked about the harassment he experienced—in visiting the United States for medical treatment. He was aghast at the propensity of the Indian state to create nuisance; he was also certain that he and others would be arrested for their attempt to establish an 'election commission' to supervise elections in both Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. So why do it, we asked. He said the Hurriyat wanted to prove its claims of being the true representatives of Kashmiris, then perhaps the government would talk to it.

In a quivering voice, Lone astounded us with the parallels he drew between the secessionist movement in Kashmir and elsewhere. "Why is it that only we Kashmiris are asked to prove our credentials of being the true representatives of the people? Was Longowal asked to prove his credentials before he signed the Punjab Accord? Did Naga rebel leader...

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