Srinagar, May 14: A Hurriyat leader today voiced fears that militants might kill him and a colleague over his remarks that UN resolutions on Kashmir cannot be practically implemented, days after the statement triggered infighting in the moderate separatist camp.
Former Hurriyat chairperson Abdul Gani Bhat’s remarks last week had angered separatists but he appeared unfazed today while addressing a gathering in Handwara.
“Your thirst should have been quenched after martyring Lone sahab,” he said in Handwara on the eve of the 10th death anniversary of Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone.
“Hasn’t it been quenched till now? Now you want to murder us. Me and Bilal (Lone’s elder son who heads the People’s Conference). Try another bullet but you would, God willing, find us among those who take bullets on the chest and not on the back.”
Bhat did not spell out the term militants today while referring to his fears about being killed. But in the past he has said on record that Lone and another senior separatist, Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, were killed not by security forces but by militants.
The senior Mirwaiz, who is the father of moderate Hurriyat chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was killed on May 21, 1991, and Lone on this day in 2002 for their moderate views.
Bhat’s comments that the UN resolutions were “complex” are at odds with the views of both the moderate and hardline Hurriyat factions, which have long flagged their implementation as the most basic demand.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had sought to play down the apparent differences by clarifying that there was no change in Hurriyat’s stand and asserting that Bhat’s statements represented his “personal” views.
Bhat raked up the issue despite the Mirwaiz’s directive to all moderate Hurriyat constituents against issuing policy statements.
Bhat also appeared to suggest that he had reason to stick to his stand. “I don’t talk in a vacuum. You go through the text of the UN resolutions (on Kashmir),” he told the gathering.
Bhat had said last week that the UN Security Council had “cleverly drafted those resolutions to please both India and Pakistan”.