25 February, 2021

The Seven Satraps Of Paradise

The APHC is no longer a taboo, but differences within cast uncertain shadows on peace

The Seven Satraps Of Paradise

What had hitherto been a taboo, not meant to be touched even by the end of a barge-pole by the powers that be of the Indian nation-state, has suddenly been recognised by them as the totem of a people in revolt. After being in the cold for almost two years, the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) seems to have bounced back in favour. Today, even as the ‘popular elected’ government of Jammu and Kashmir finds itself reduced to being a mere bystander-passively watching the troubled state gradually slide down into a deep, dark abyss of despair and hopelessness-the Centre has decided to touch base with the Hurriyat. Says a top-ranking official involved in track-II diplomacy: "Obviously, New Delhi knows that peace can’t be brought to Kashmir without roping in the Hurriyat. Besides, international pressure has also come to bear on it."

It was in late 1993 that the Hurriyat, an umbrella group of militant leaders of diverse political persuasions, was formed to act as the political voice of the independence movement in the Kashmir Valley. It was also around...

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